TAG: Imon International
May 19, 2011
Exciting news, the first phase of Bootstrap’s suzani revival project is complete! We have crisscrossed the mountainous country of Tajikistan searching through large towns and tiny villages to find all the women in the country who still know the ancient suzani sewing tradition. We are so excited, and so is Tajikistan—even the President of the country has commented on the project!
Our partner organization, NABWT, has created a very useful website of the first phase. On the site you can compare how different the suzanis are from village to village. Why is this, you ask? Huge mountains divide the towns, so over centuries a separate language of symbols has been created in each town, and this is reflected in the suzanis. NAMBWT’s site is currently available in Russian. We used the automatic web translation tool to help guide us around.
Here is the site's homepage. You can find a map of areas covered and see the design differences here, and a profile of each master craftswoman here. The English version of the site is under development, we will let you know as soon as it is available. (We just couldn’t resist showing you a sneak peak right away.)
March 28, 2011
We are delighted to announce the launch of Save Our Suzanis, Bootstrap’s unique development project implemented with our development partner, Imon International, and sponsored by the Swiss government.
Suzani making has been central to Tajik culture for centuries. Suzanis are not just exquisite pieces, they are the central avenue for mothers to bond with their daughters. This hugely important tradition, however, is under threat—while all Tajik women once knew the art of suzani making, today only a handful of these women remain. Utilizing the skills of Bootstrap master suzani maker Soliha Sharopova, Save Our Suzanis will reclaim and revive the suzani sector in Tajikistan, increase cooperation across the country (Tajikistan is still recovering from civil war) and, critically, create sustainable income-generating opportunities for poor rural women. Check back often for updates on this exciting project!