International Folk Art Market Sees First Artists From Taiwan, Bangladesh

Jul 10, 2014

This weekend the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, IFAM, will feature an array of crafts from 150 master artists from 60 countries.

IFAM offers an opportunity for many craft people to support themselves and their communities, while also preserving cultural heritage and skills.

This year, Taiwan and Bangladesh are represented for the first time.

Megan Kamerick spoke with Edrick Ong of the World Crafts Council; Ya-Lei Chang, a Paiwan bead artist from Taiwan; and  Sona Rani Roy, a quilter from Bangladesh.

Sona Rani Roy has helped to revive traditional crafting methods that had been lost, bringing a new method of livelihood to women in Bangladesh who had previously relied on agriculture.

Chaing said her rediscovery of ancient bead making techniques has restored a traditional method of recording history for Paiwan people who once lived without a written language.  The beads also show social class. 

The World Crafts Council’s Edrick Ong explained that bringing artists to Santa Fe is a testament to the power of the market to encourage the world’s folk artists to dedicate themselves to traditional crafts.  

Both artists are heard through interpreters. Kaveh Mowahed produced this segment.