April 8, 2011
As stated in our previous blog post, during the month of April and in honor of Earth Day we will be featuring three artists who work with artisans to create eco-friendly products from recycled and/or natural materials.
Aurea Accessories was founded by Suyanna Barker and Cristiane Kimura to support the golden grass craft and artisans who make the products in Tocantins, Brazil. These women saw an opportunity to bring the golden grass products to a US market that was evolving to embrace meaningful products and processes that are more conscious of their impact on the earth and people.
Golden grass is an herbaceous perennial plant native to the humid grasslands of central Brazil. The uniqueness of this flowering plant resides in its innate, shiny golden sheen. After it is harvested, golden grass is left to dry in the shade until it is ready to be woven. No pesticides, chemicals or other toxic products are applied to the raw material during the crafting of the products.
To ensure the sustainable harvest of golden grass and use of the Buriti palms, the local environmental agency, Naturains, has implemented regulations and has trained and certified the artisans in sustainable practices. Golden grass can only be harvested once a year after seed maturation and dispersion, to ensure the continued growth of the species. These sustainable practices are very important to the conservation of the region's ecosystem and to the income generation of local communities. Aurea Accessories only works with partners that are certified by Naturatins.
A Tradition Passed Down
The weaving tradition of golden grass was introduced to the region by the indigenous Xerente people. The tradition's origins are found in Mumbuca, a rural community formed by the descendants of African-American slaves. The first generation passed on the techniques from mother to daughter. Present day artisans have adapted these weaving techniques to create contemporary accessories.
The crafting of golden grass products has become an important source of income for the local communities of this remote region in central Brazil, particularly for women. It allows them to work from their homes, pacing the work to their own rhythm while taking care of their families and housework.
Contributing to Economic Development
Aurea Accessories currently works on a regular basis with eight artisans and two producer-own associations who have autonomy to decide on their prices and are in control of their production. They are committed to ensuring that the artisans have fair working conditions, a fair wage and a healthy environment in which to work.
It is the goal of Aurea Accessories to contribute to economic and social development while conserving the environment, preserving local traditions and empowering the artisans. Aurea is dedicated to showcasing the golden grass products of these artisans and to supporting the overall economic growth of their communities.
Enter to Win An Eco-Friendly Gift
Don't forget to enter our Earth Day drawing. On Earth Day we will draw the name of one winner who will be able to select one gift from our three featured artists. One of the choices is the Leaf Earrings by Aurea Accessories.
To enter our drawing please send your name and e-mail address to email@example.com.