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Aurea Accessories was founded by Cristiane Kimura to support golden grass crafts and the artisans who make them in Tocantins, Brazil. Golden grass grows only in Tocantins and can be harvested just once a year after seed maturation and dispersion. The local environmental agency, Naturatins, has implemented harvesting regulations to ensure the conservation of the region's bio/diversity and the sustainable harvest of golden grass. Naturatins trains and certifies artisans in these practices. Aurea only works with partners that are certified by the agency.
Golden grass weaving techniques were brought to the region by the indigenous Xerente people. Traditionally, the golden grass stems are sewn tightly together with a natural thread made of the leaves of native Buriti palm. The Mumbuca community of Tocantins learned the art of weaving this unique raw material into objects, such as hats and baskets, for their every day use and passed down their knowledge from generation to generation. Combining talent, skills and creativity, the new generations of artisans have adapted the traditional weaving techniques to create beautiful home ornaments and personal accessories.
Mostly women, the artisans of Tocantins have organized themselves around producer-owned associations in order to maintain the region's cultural legacy, empower themselves and enhance the living conditions of their families. Most artisans work from their homes, pacing the work to their own rhythm while taking care of their families and housework. Their crafts are currently one of the most important sources of income for the local communities of this remote region in central Brazil.
Aurea sources directly from artisans and producer-owned associations that decide on their prices and are in control of their products. Aurea's partnership with the artisans operates in compliance with fair trade principles.
Cristiane is passionate about Brazilian nature, crafts and culture, which she has introduced to her friends living abroad in France and the US.
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