Ethical Fashion doesn't have to be boring

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dying textile traditions in the mountains of South East Asia

She’s lived in these mountains for as long as she can remember, but it's all different now.  Now there are roads and shops and the young people are leaving. They are leaving for the cities, for factory jobs and tourist spots. They are leaving without the tribal skills, the skills which they did not care to learn. The skills they felt would not provide the things people down there, in the city value. The skills her grandmother taught her mother, and her mother taught her and she taught her daughter. "Is this where it ends?" she wonders.
Yet she smiles as she sits in her hut and draws the batik as she has for years. It is a part of her, the culture, the Hmong tribal ways. The women sitting together embroidering, chatting, after a day of gathering or planting in the hills. Will it end here? These beautiful skills lost forever remembered only by these hills that witnessed the beauty of it, and the grandmothers that created them.