This handmade creation is offered in partnership with NOVICA, in association with National Geographic.
Thai artisan Napapat designs this braided bracelet with techniques the Yao women only teach their daughters. She decorates the handcrafted bracelet with silver beads in the shape of bamboo crafted by Karen hill tribe artisans.
- Weight: 0.13 oz
- Dimensions: 6 mm wide x 7.3-9.3 inches long
- Country: Thailand
- Style: Wristband
- Materials: Polyester waxed cord
- Metal: Silver
- Finish: Combination
- Clasp: Sliding knot
- Made in Thailand.
Story Behind the Art:
Their works were very creative and beautiful, but also distinctly Thai: their methods unchanged from mother to daughter.
When I was young, I was a very active and imaginative girl. Growing up in Chiang Rai in a family with low economic means, I always enjoyed crafting my own toys and accessories with natural things around the house such as flowers, leaves, vines and scrap from my mom's projects. My dad is a skilled carpenter who would volunteer his time to building temples and schools. My mom always supported him as a perfect housewife. I also have a younger brother. Now, through my own achievements, I?ve been able to support him through school, and now he is training to be a soldier.
During my first year in college, I had a chance to go on a field trip to Chiang Mai City, in the center of northern Thai, which is only a couple hours away from my town. We were able to see many interesting places, but one really inspired me. It was a small village called Yao, situated on top of a mountain. I saw some hill tribe women braiding threads to make accessories. Their technique and unique style has been passed down from one generation to another. Their works were very creative and beautiful, but also distinctly Thai: their methods unchanged from mother to daughter.
One of the hosts of our field trip was the leader of the women in the village, her name is Mohloh. I asked her to teach me how to braid in their style and she told me it's deceptively difficult to teach, especially when I was only going to be there for a short time. She also warned me that I would need lots of patience and imagination to produce the kind of art they were making. I was undeterred, and spent the rest of the afternoon with Mohloh and some of the other women learning their methods.
At one point, Mohloh mentioned that the type of threads they are using tended to fray after getting wet. I was really fond of making them and curious to find out if there was any better thread to avoid the problem. When I returned, I looked into some other supplies that weren?t available to the people of Yao. I tried many different kinds of threads, but some were too large and couldn?t be woven easily. Others looked gorgeous, but sometimes the colors would run if they were washed. I finally found waxed cords.
Waxed cords are relatively thick and the waxed coating prevents them from fraying. They are much stronger, water-resistant and in my experience, this fact makes them last longer than leather. Because the strands are waxed after their dyed, there?s no risk of the colors running. This success gave me confidence and I set out to creating accessories with waxed threads exclusively.
Please allow 10 business days for the product to leave our warehouse and to receive tracking information. You should expect to receive this item within 15 business days.
All measurements are approximate and may vary slightly from the listed dimensions.
Free shipping to the lower 48 states*