Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A generous gift

Karen Skirt
This is the hand-made gift I've been meaning to share with you for several months. Schedules around here have not coincided enough to put a photographer & daylight & me in the same place with time to do this. Finally, today I just took some pictures inside, with a tripod.

For some time I've been helping with a small ESL class for women at my church. The women are mostly Karen (kuh-wren) from Burma, (aka Myanmar) via refugee camps in Thailand. I help a bit with these classes -- that's all. Which makes the generosity of my Karen friends all the more amazing. One day last summer, when I gave some of them a ride home after class, someone came running out of their apartment with a tape measure. Much giggling ensued, and protests by me, but measurements were taken, and some time later, I was presented with this beautiful skirt. My skirt has a zipper and a waistband -- the true Karen skirts are wrapped, I think.

This skirt was hand-woven and then sewed to fit, by my friends Ah Mu and Ni Doh Paw.

Here are some detail shots:
Karen skirt
Karen skirt
Karen Skirt

The mittens I just finished are for Ah Mu. I hope to make Ni Doh Paw some gloves soon. I'm slow enough that they'll have to be put away for next winter.

There are some pictures of the looms used for this weaving here.

If you want to know more about why these people are refugees, this video is a good start. It's not as graphic as some I've seen. It is, however, very sad.

More Karen textiles to come!

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