Preservation And The Digital Documentation Of The Traditional Handcrafts
Funded By The US Embassy In Baghdad
Nature Iraq is seeking to train 12 girls and boys by experts of making traditional carpets and reed products in the central marshes. Products will be channeled through suitable marketing outlets.
For the purposes of the project, Nature Iraq will connect the trainees to marketing outlets to create income for the producers to enable them to have the resources to preserve their skills and improve their products with the improvement of their production and social relations. The main proposed markets that will be focused on are Basra, Baghdad and Erbil. Nature Iraq will advertise the products on its website.
The focus products of the project are:
- Hand weaving (4 types)
- Reed pigeon baskets
- Palm leaf products (4 types)
Nature Iraq endeavors to protect the cultural heritage of the marsh area by documenting the skills used in making household tools. Such skills are declining in the market due to the competition of the cheap alternative products. The use of such tool was the traditional way women and men in the marshes act when producing raw materials and end products that can be sold in Iraq. Such product include handmade carpets, rugs, palm leaf chairs, the traditional boats, reed rugs, reed baskets, hats, hand fans, purses, head scarfs, etc.
The main goal of the project is to communicate such skills to younger generations and document them by means of the audio-visual devices and record the manufacturing process from input to the final output. The documentation materials will be edited and uploaded on Nature Iraq’s website to share them with the world. Also, Nature Iraq will train selected candidates (mostly girls) to manufacture and sell their products. Also, the organization will hold exhibitions for such products in various area of Iraq to introduce and promote them and to find suitable marketing outlets.
Unfortunately, the traditional tools began to disappear fast from the market due to the availability of the cheap plastic products. Many of the things used daily in Iraq which are made of plant products began to disappear from the market and one has to travel to the remote villages to buy them. As such, the traditional skills are declining and will also disappear if nothing is done to document them. Our goal is to document these skills and revive the traditions of the area. This can be done by training young girls and boys in order to pass the knowedge to a generation or two for the preservation of the skills and traditions which managed to survive the ages.
The Project Activities
- Video-taped training (6 trainees per workshop)
- Documentation of the handcraft products and workshops
- Documentary videos with a film about the project to be uploaded to the website
- Exhibitions of handcraft products and photographs in conferences and celebration
More about the project: