HERITAGE REVITALIZATION

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COMBINING HERITAGE WITH NOVELTY.

To establish

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The handicraft sector plays a vital role in income and employment and is seen as a tool for poverty reduction. At the same time handicrafts are of great importance, as they serves to preserve and promote cultural and artistic traditions for the generations to come. This is of out most importance, as the historical and cultural heritage, which has made Siwa a worldwide touristic destination, is rapidly disappearing.

This project aims at developing the five traditional Siwan handicrafts in a way that it combines traditional heritage with novelty. Women will be taught how to produce the traditional Siwan handicrafts, and will also learn to adapt their techniques to modern-markets, to produce distinguished products for a wider audience.

Women will be trained in: 

picture Embroidery
picture Silver
picture Kliim (carpet) Weaving
picture Pottery
picture Basket Weaving
Embroidery & Sewing
Since the past, women have been known for their intricate embroidery skills. The colorful patterns originally ornate wedding dresses. Embroidery is probably Siwa’s most known handicraft, as it is easy for many women to perform at home. Nevertheless, the quality is dramatically decreasing and new designs are for many still unknown.
Silver
Traditionally silver was a women’s most precious possession but through time, most of it has been sold or exchanged for gold. Today, silver is becoming popular again as its health benefits are starting to be known and its scarcity has increased its value.
Kliim (carpet) Weaving
A craft performed especially by Bedouin women in Siwa’s surrounding villages, like Ein Safi and Bahei el Deen. Machine produced carpets have taken over the local markets, due to their cheap prices. In Siwa this is one of the least practiced crafts.
Pottery
Decorated with Siwan symbols, its use has been limited to ornaments or small storage pots. Nevertheless, new techniques of production (like in Fayoum oasis)1 show the wide possibilities to improve this craft and expand its production and use.
Basket Weaving
The abundance of palm trees in the oasis is an excellent resource for handicrafts. In old times, baskets were mainly used for storage, some being beautifully decorated when holding something valuable. Today, this is probably the least practiced traditional craft.
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ARTISANSHIP, WHICH IS PRACTICED BY MEN AND WOMEN IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF SIWAN IDENTITY.