Community Embroidery Brings People Together

June 23, 2023 2023-06-23 8:44
Community embroidery

Community Embroidery Brings People Together

Community Embroidery Brings People Together

Preserving Traditional Communities

Regeneracy is a key part of our mission at MANIMA. We want to reestablish the worth of Italy’s artisans. At its core, this means maintaining the strong tradition of embroidery and empowering the surrounding community. We have created a business model that enables them to work from home and earn in a way that reflects the quality of their work, while simultaneously training and supporting each other. The power of community embroidery cannot be underestimated in how it brings people together, young and old, in a tradition over a thousand years old.

There is a rich history of embroidery in Sicily that developed as a result of the diverse cultural influences on the island. This traditional craft has grown to be a way for Sicilian communities to celebrate their heritage, pass down stories and create connections across generations. Embroidery has the power to communicate narratives. It preserves a collective memory and fosters a sense of belonging.

To say it is simply culturally significant would be a vast oversight. Embroidery has played a major role in economic empowerment and community development. Sicily is famous for producing exquisite embroidered textiles, ranging from linens to traditional costumes and religious vestments. By investing in embroidery skills and supporting local artisans, we can help communities generate income, promote entrepreneurship and enhance economic sustainability. We can bring embroidery out of the shadow economy and valorise the work of the female artisans.

Using Community Embroidery as a Force for Good

The transmission of embroidery skills from one generation to another is a cherished tradition that fosters intergenerational bonding. Experienced embroiderers in Sicilian communities take pride in teaching younger family members and community members the intricate techniques and traditional patterns, who then in turn pass on these skills.

At MANIMA we believe in training embroiderers of all ages and backgrounds, especially vulnerable women, to help empower them and create a sense of community transcending background. This passing down of knowledge ensures the preservation of the craft while strengthening the sense of belonging and continuity within the community.

Community embroidery in action

We know embroidery has a unique ability to bring people together, transcending age, gender and cultural differences. In Sicilian communities, embroidery workshops and gatherings have been integral to society for over a thousand years and will continue to serve as creative spaces where individuals can come together, share skills and build new friendships. These inclusive environments promote collaboration and unity, fostering social connections among community members.

Furthermore, embroidery can revitalise local identity and attract tourism. By showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of embroidery, communities can create unique products and experiences that celebrate their cultural heritage. This not only brings economic benefits but also helps preserve and promote the community’s distinct identity.

As such embroidery holds immense power within communities, offering a means of preserving heritage, empowering individuals economically, strengthening intergenerational bonds, fostering inclusivity, and revitalising local identities. In Sicily, this ancient art form has transcended time, enriching lives and serving as a testament to the enduring power of creativity and tradition. By investing in the community, we want to be a beacon in the protection of tradition and empowerment of artisans, hoping others across the world will follow.

by Will Scott

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