By Lela Iselin and Sarah Bowker
At the house of Shakti we work with different cultures and artisans around the planet to help them preserve their art form and traditions. We believe in the beauty and vibrational power of handmade jewelry. Much of jewelry making in the current jewelry market is machine and 3D made. While this development has its advantages, at Shakti jewelry we feel strongly about supporting ancient wisdom and tradition to keep it alive.
One of the tribes Shakti works with is the Hilltribe people in northern Thailand. Shakti supports this indigenous metal smithing technique, which is a dying art in the remote mountain area of northern Thailand. Purchasing any Shakti Hilltribe design helps provide the Hilltirbe people with a reliable source of income.
When Shakti asked the Hilltribe she works with if they LOVE what they do and how they feel about their work their response was:
“Definitely, I love what I’m doing. I feel that our skills will soon be replaced by the machine and every piece of jewelry will start to look the same. Making our beads by hand in an old traditional way we were taught by or parents and grandparents that helps us keep our identity intact. I hope to keep it that way”
We want to help sustain this kind of tradition. Tradition that defines a culture and their people. We feel the indigenous work on this planet is a great enrichment and at Shakti Jewelry we want be a part of keeping it alive.
Another tribe we work with is the Woman of the Sacred Valley of Peru.
They hand spin their own wool and use vegetable die to colour it. We custom order our fabric for our medicine bags directly from them. This is one of these rich exchanges where different cultures inspire each other. Our colour choices often baffle our weavers. There have been times when they told us they couldn't do it the way we wanted. This happened with our white on white bags for example. We insisted and they tried something they had never done before and the results were beautiful. In this instance we strengthened and expanded their cultural tradition. At Shakti Jewelry, we are so impressed with what resourceful artists these women are.
The benefits of supporting the women of the sacred valley in this way are many fold. International development studies show that when women receive their own income, the health and wellbeing of their children improves at a much faster rate then when men have sole control of the family’s income.
We love to have an impact like this on our beautiful and rich planet. And we are proud that often one single piece of Shakti Jewelry brings together artisan traditions from all over the world. We feel that this makes our jewelry very unique and gives it a powerful and healing vibration.