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Fique: Colombian Handicrafts from Plants to Products & the People Involved - Little Observationist
Earlier this week, Jorge wrote a blog post about about the PET Lamp project. It’s an initiative that helps eliminate the abundance of plastic waste that contaminates the Colombian Amazon – and a perfect example of Colombian creativity and resourcefulness. PET Lamps was started the Summer of 2011 – the same Summer I spent living in Colombia, also surrounded by artisans and plenty of colour. For me, it wasn’t the plastic waste that turned into something fabulous, but a certain spiky plant called fique that grew around the village. It’s now considered the “Colombian national fibre”, which says something of its importance. Spools and spools of fique fibres fill the shelves of Colombia’s artisan shops. There was one in the village of Mogotes, in the North East of the country, where I was staying. Blues, reds, purples, greens and yellows of different sizes were stacked across from the products the are used to create: woven handbags, shoes, sacks, tapestries and dolls. Among them, other local nicknacks like sombrero key chains and the little yellow, blue and red matchbox style chivas piled high with fruit and vegetables. What was so incredible about the fique products though, was how many people were involved …