Most of the goods in our Global Market are treasures I discovered from my travels to Southeast Asia, particularly a small collection of handbags and accessories handwoven by Hill Tribe peoples. Of the various groups, there are 6 major ones living in Southeast Asia: the Hmong, Karen, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, and Mien.
Each migrated from China and Central Asia to mostly Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. Distinct cultures, they share in common a nomadic farming lifestyle and a culture of highly skilled and beautiful craftsmanship. With some having no written language, their past has been carried down generation after generation in rituals, folklore, art, and textiles. Garments communicate ceremony, roles, positions in society, and important life events. From a young age, the women learn needlework to make their own clothing. Using traditional methods of weaving, women, oftentimes in their village homes or local workshops, create textiles and accessories on hand looms. Many of the accessories are upcycled or repurposed from traditional garb and truly one of a kind.