Manual work from Peru under fair conditions
Women in the Andes, master craftswomen of their trade, knit for Mama Ocllo cute cuddly toys and precious baby booties.
Mama Ocllo and Manco Capac first started from the Titicaca lake, in the Andes region of Puno, in order to put the foundation stone for the Inca Empire.
Today Puno ranks among the poorest regions in Peru, where due to the lack of basic supply each winter many children die in the icy cold weather of the high mountains (4000 m above sea level) . The hands of these women and mothers are often tied in this situation, because too little support comes from the state and the family incomes are the usually far below the minimum subsistence level.
We became acquainted with Manuela Ramos at such a beautifully decorated booth.
It is all the more important that organizations such as Manuela Ramos exist. The feminist Non Profit Organization fights for the rights of women in Peru since 1978, for their economic, political and family autonomy.
In 1991, La Casa de la Mujer Artesana (“The House of the Artisan Woman”) appeared as the economic branch of Manuela Ramos. One of the goals of this project is to help the women increase their self-confidence in economic affairs, like e.g. the marketing of their arts and crafts. The fact that the project is extremely popular is proven by about 800 women in Puno, who knit and weave for the local and international market and secure a valuable auxiliary income for themselves.
We became acquainted with Alicia, project manager of La Casa de la Mujer Artesana, at the Ethical Fashion Show 2012 in Paris. At that time, she proudly told us about her work of many years in Puno:
“We help women from the province to obtain an auxiliary income. In addition to this, we train them regularly, since our goal is that women develop an economic consciousness and learn to step on the market independently with hand-made products. Sometimes they simply lack the courage and the motivation, to do more with their talents by themselves. But we are on a good path towards leading the women to a greater independence; not only financially but also privately. The women learn to effectively compete on the market and to stand up to their often very macho husbands”.
A beautiful project, so we thought, and we’ve seen the opportunity coming, for giving to our Mama Ocllo a face. At Mama Ocllo’s legendary place of origin, women knit in the evening hours, after their work on their Chacra (“their land”) is done, our charming finger dolls.
Our co-operation began with finger dolls, in the meanwhile we have arrived to with affectionately designed, hand-made cuddly toys made of Bio Tangüis cotton.
The women from Manuela Ramos meanwhile knit for Mama Ocllo marvellously soft baby booties from the finest baby Alpaca wool and high-quality cuddly toys from bio-certified cotton, as well as from Alpaca wool.