First things first: I go and meet the big boss (community leader) and from there I have good guidance on what I’m doing in that community. I meet the crafters who are usually elders and with them I have the most fun, investigating all about the culture, the art and crafts.
We walk around sometimes for many kilometers, discovering or recognizing raw materials to work with. I learn so much about my culture, and discovering artifacts that you don’t see any more in the market.
My commitment is to bring these back, to preserve our culture and celebrate them for the beautiful pieces of art that they are.
Our work strategy is to join with the communities and use the raw materials easily available. For now, we are working with two different communities for fiber weaving in Chigubo district (inland, Gaza province) around Banhine National Park and in Linga-Linga on the coast of Inhambane bay.
Women wake up in the early mornings, before sunrise and go to the bush for their raw materials for craft production.
Some women have to walk many kilometers for these materials, even coming back home the next day because of the distances in the forest. We use palm fibers, wood, natural dyes, leather and steel accessories to produce our products. We source 90% of the raw materials in Mozambique mainly from the communities.
Marcia is a sincere environmentalist. She participates in all trainings, making sure that good harvesting practices are followed. Two or three times a year she goes to the field herself with the ladies for the harvest of the raw materials.
Modern urban society might think it knows best, but people in the communities definitely know better how to live in, depend on, and take care of nature. Knowledge about materials and resources is generations-deep. We must learn from rural people how to live ecologically and respect the natural landscapes around us.