The Wisdom of Hands | Craig Travel

The Wisdom of Hands

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Travel inspires us to experience new things and encourages us to engage with different people to share new and meaningful cultural experiences. During this unprecedented time, it's especially important to feel connected as humans who are all in this together, so we can imagine a future where travel affords us the opportunity to explore with a more open heart and mind. Travel not only enriches the mind and educates us far beyond any textbook, but it also keeps us curious to learn about the ways we are both different, but also similar, to people around the world. As we travel the globe we learn about a region's history, but we also learn about ourselves, and each other, along the way.  We gain a deeper appreciation of our connection with other humans and begin to appreciate the elements of humanity's common heritage. 

One such heritage is the wisdom of hands through handicrafts. Handicrafts are the creative products made by the skill of the hand without the help of modern machinery and equipment.  In today's high tech world it's easy to lose sight of the importance of preserving ancestral wisdom. As we immerse ourselves in various cultural handicrafts during our travels, we witness the incredible techniques used to create intelligent art expressions through skills passed down through many generations. These skills are often rooted in ancient civilizations and many of them are quite impressive, to say the least! 

Let's explore rich handicraft traditions from some of our favourite countries to gain a deeper appreciation for handicrafts and discover the ways we're supporting and preserving our human heritage as a community of world travellers...
 

Morocco is a haven for traditional crafts and the workmanship is without a dout first class.  Moroccan handicrafts are a true reflection of the country's wonderful diversity packed full of incredible landscapes and colours. With so much to choose from, we find many handcrafted treasures to bring home from our travels, including colourful slippers called babouches, beautiful carpets, hand-embroidery, wood masterpieces, and colourfully painted tiles and pottery.  Moroccan lanterns are also incredible pieces of craftsmanship and give off the perfect ambient light through traditional geometric patterns.  They simply look incredible in the dark!  Add Morocco to your wish by emailing us here.  

Pottery, An Ancestral Art

Indeed, the little town of Safi on the edge of the Atlantic is one of Morocco's creamic capitals.  The city's rich history and long tradition of craftsmanship is impressive...

Morocco's Many Arts and Crafts Traditions

Morocco is a land that is respledent with age-old traditions, with artisans that follow skills handed down through many generations, and a wide range of stunning arts and crafts... 

Shopping and Traditional Crafts

Shop for an array of typical products, including pottery, daggers and carpets, visit the workshops where they are crafted or even try your hand at making something yourself... 

As one of the world's leading destinations for eco and adventure tourism, it's no wonder many of the souvenirs in Costa Rica are locally made using sustainably produced material with nature and cultural themes.  The culture and artisan crafts in Costa Rica are almost as big of a draw for tourists as the natural beauty of the forests, waterfalls and beaches.  Local markets abound with treasures to take home, including wooden crafts made from local trees of the rain and cloud forests.  These hand-carved masks, bowls, trinket boxes, and other home accents are a rich reminder of the magic of the country and its people. The iconic oxcart handicrafts of Costa Rica are painted colourfully with complex designs to transform them into works of art.  They were once used by farmers to transport goods like sugar cane and coffee beans, but now craftspeople are incorporating their own elaborate geometric patterns which is seen on display throughout the country. Be inspired by all things Costa Rica here...

Meet Woodworker Barry Biesanz

Capturing the natural beauty of Costa Rica in handcrafted woodwork is no small task.  Learn how this Costa Rican resident uses his platform to not only create art but contribute to reforestation efforts, too...

Sarchi Ox Cart Factory

Sarchi is the unofficial crafts mecca of Costa Rica.  The ox carts, intricately painted and visually stunning, are still produced by hand and placed on display outside the factory.  Watch as these talented individuals paint each by hand with narrow brushes...

Timeless Indian handicrafts have survived throughout the ages and today we see a huge variety of handicrafts representing India's rich cultural heritage.  India is home to a large number of tribes wtih rich handicraft traditions, making beautiful screens, lamp stands, furniture, baskets, silk textiles, carpet weaving, and pottery.  Since ancient times, these crafts have appealed to the rest of the world because of their beauty, dignity, and style.  Add India to your wish list by emailing us here.

Banarasi Sarees and Textiles

Fabric is part of the story of Prince Siddharth who later came to be known as Gautam Buddha or Lord Buddha.  He is said to have removed his royal silk robes, most probably among the best woven in Varanasi...

Handicrafts In India

India's rich cultural heritage and centuries of evolutionary tradition is manifested by the huge variety of handicrafts made all over the country.  Handicrafts are a mirror of the cultural identity of the ethnic people who make it...

Varanasi Brocade

Varanasi is well known for its different styles of weaving, created to obtain patterns termed as brocade.  Every step of the process of creating a Varanasi Brocade is handled by designated workers...

In Italy, handicraft and art date back to the Middle Ages and then the Renaissance, and nowadays many of the traditions are still alive and preserved by continuous studies and revival works. Although textiles and pottery are well-known, local artisans are most famous for their glass blowing skills in Murano, Italy's best known craft skill due to the mastery of its makers.  The origins of glassmaking in Italy goes back to the times of the Roman Empire when molded glass was used for illumination in bathhouses and today, Murano is the glassblowing capital of the world.  Add Italy to your wish by emailing us here.

Murano Glassblowing - The Method Behind The Magic

Murano glass, or vetro di Murano, is magic, celebrated and revered all over the world for its beauty, fragility, the skill required to create it, and last, but definitely not least, its history...

Murano Glass Vases and Sculpture

Murano glass is hand-made according to ancient techniques on Murano Island in Venice, Italy.  Watch as the artisans wrape a thin layer of blown glass in one colour around the molten glass...

Murano and The Glass Arts

Artisan tradition and a manufacture that combines industrial, manual and technological techniques have been for centuries characterized and exalted the Italian art of glassmaking...

Where to Buy Handicrafts In Rome

Make sure you don't fall into the tourist trap!  When shopping for handicrafts in Rome steer clear of the tat and pick up some traditional Italian souvenirs for your friends and family back home...

Peruvian handicraft is a living tradition that is deeply inspired and influenced by centuries of Peruvian history and cultural heritage. The indigenous artisans of Peru are highly praised by connoisseurs from all over the world for their unique Indian patterns and geometrical motifs along with the excellent quality and superior craftsmanship of their products. Pottery is the oldest surviving art form among the indigenous, with advanced ceramic techniques having been developed even before the onset of the Incan civilization.  The textile tradition in Peru is the oldest in the world, going back over 10,000 years and includes weaving techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Lastly, Peru's extremely mineral rich landscape combined with the skills of the Peruvian people has resulted in a thriving jewelery industry displaying pre-Inca and Imperial Inca designs.  Be inspired by all things Peru here...  

The Old World of Peruvial Craft

Meet some of the artisan woman in a hillside village near Ollantaytambo who dye fibres with locally foraged botanicals and weave brightly coloured textiles in the cool mountain air...

Textile Art as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity

In the heart of Lake Titicaca there is a town of artists who day by day cultivate the value of identity and whose art is recognized worldwide. Descended from Incan cultures, they have been dedicated to textile art since ancient times...

Ancient Art of Puno's Weave in Taquile

In the highest navigable lake in the world is a strange paradise at 3,800 metres above the sea level called Taquile Island.  In this magical paradise, men, women, and children weave fine accessories of alpaca fibre... 

Take Pride in the Human Heritage of Handicraft Skills 

As a community of world travellers, we value cultural exposure and understand that travelling to foreign lands to connect with and learn from locals is one of life's greatest privileges.  Learning about the history of local traditions gives us an understanding and appreciation of ancient practices and helps us understand the importance of preserving this for future generations.  

It provides us with opportunities to not only witness incredible techniques and legacies passed on through generatons, but it also allows us to support and preserve a priceless human heritage. Our support helps to keep alive centuries-old heritage of craft and art. Purchasing authentic traditional handicrafts enables the local cummunities a needed source of revenue to sustain their culture and traditions.  This enables these talented craftspeople to further develop their skills, as well as hand them down to future generations.  We feel privileged to play our part in their heritage, a shared human heritage seen throughout the world of skilled hands, And it's refreshing to know that nowadays, hand-made products are considered to be a fashion statement and an item of luxury.  

Ready to start planning your next great adventure?  Check out our Featured Journeys webpage for inspiration!

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