Macrame Project

The Macrame Project
It is slightly difficult to believe that the simple power of knots can end up forming such a tight knit community. This is what the Macrame Project is about. Based in rural Ecuador, the Macrame project is a community development project that utilizes the age-old appeal of macrame to create hand-crafted macrame bracelets and household items. Macrame bracelets are delightful in their color and textures, and when combined with beads, shells or stones, their beauty is truly enhanced. Unlike weaving or knitting, macrame uses knotting to make decorative threads. The threads have a range of uses, from bags, to bracelets, to plant hangers and so on. They are a throw back to earlier times when knots were used by sailors as decorations for ships. From the sailors, the craft of macrame passed on to the mainstream and gradually began to get popular for their colors in addition to their durability.

Gold Stone Macrame BraceletThe Eden’s Rose Foundation helps indigenous communities around the world support themselves through many diverse programs. The Macrame Project is one of their community development programs. Unfortunately it happens often that when handcrafted items are sold, the profits do not reach the people of the community in their entirety, or some of the profits get swallowed up in commissions. The Macrame Project seeks to reverse this trend by using Direct Trade, putting the money directly in the hands of the people doing the work. As a result of this effort, the hands that craft the beautiful macrame bracelets are the ones that receive the money.

The Macrame Project works effectively by doing a needs and skills assessment of the community. Efforts are made to highlight the native skills that may have gradually begun to disappear and to launch educational and skills training programs, empowering communities and reuniting them with their indigenous art. The community projects are then used to raise funds for the social development programs within the community.

The story of the macrame bracelets seems to have depth as well as scope to expand its initiative as it continues to involve more and more of the surrounding local communities. The ultimate aim: Create self-financing projects for overall growth of the community. In an echo of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekanandaís’ insistence on self-sufficiency: “All the wealth of the world cannot help one little Indian village if the people are not taught to help themselves.”

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