Sunday, November 15, 2020

Connecting with Mongolian Artisans in 2020

 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but it hit our friends in developing countries especially hard. One place that has experienced severe changes is Mongolia, where artisans have traditionally relied on tourism to keep them in business. With tourism coming to a complete halt, families who depended on this livelihood were immediately cut off from their income. Thankfully, one of these artisans had heard of Elevita and reached out on behalf of his cooperative, "Youth for Success." Ganbold asked if Elevita could help these artisans find a global marketplace for their products, and needless to say, we were thrilled they found us!

Woodcarver Ganbold and his family work together to carve and varnish beautiful figures.

This detailed pine wood nativity is in the style of 16th-century Manchu Dynasty.

Ariuntuya creates needle felt dolls to provide for her family's needs. Her dream is to establish her own  cabin workshop and grow the business. She hopes to be able to pay to educate all her sons.

This is Ariuntuya's nativity fashioned after the 13th-century Great Mongol Empire. The figures all fit neatly in the accompanying felt yurt (ger).

Dorjkhand is a single mother who cares for both her mother and her son. During the soviet regime in Mongolia she graduated in doll crafting, the only available major for women at that time. She is self-employed and is one of the few remaining Mongolian doll makers.

This beautiful silk nativity is the result of Dorjkhand's 40 years of learning and creating traditional Mongolian dolls.