Pine Needle Handcraft Treasures

Pine Needle Handcraft Treasures
November 3, 2016 Heartisania

In our restless search for new artisans we stopped again in Honduras where we met Xiomara Manuels, a 20-year-old girl who makes her living from weaving crafts out of pine needles. Xiomara is originally from the village of Cofradia, in the municipality of Yamaranguila, Intibuca.

She is the eldest of 4 siblings and has spent 8 years learning to make genuine Honduran crafts with pine needles – a technique she learned from her mother.

Apart from this work, Xiomara also helps her father in agriculture, preparing their plot of land for planting of tomatoes, beans and corn. Since her childhood, her father taught her how to handle the shovel and work the field and this still is the main source of income for the family.

The process of making a handicraft from pine needles is simple, but takes a lot of time. First, the pine needles that fall down with the cut branches from the trees are collected. Summer is the best time to harvest pine needles and that’s when Xiomara, along with her mother and brothers, try to collect at least 10 sacks of pine needles to build stocks to produce their handicrafts throughout the year.

Then, textile threads of different colours and a hand needle are needed to start the process. The time to make a medium sized product lasts two to three days. Xiomara produces anywhere between eight to ten art pieces per month. These can be colourful baskets, table mats, heat mats, pot holders or other utilitarian decorations.

Once they have produced a reasonable amount of products, a member of the family is dispatched to take the products to the nearby city and try to sell them. To do this they have to walk two to three hours from the village where they live to the main road and then take a bus to La Esperanza or Intibuca. There they leave their crafts with the local small tourist shops. Only after the products are sold can they travel to the city once again to collect their money.

The amount of money that Xiomara earns each month by selling her crafts is usually in the region of 1,500 lempiras (about £50). This amount helps her to meet the basic needs of her family and even purchase books and materials needed for the education of her younger brothers. Xiomara recently managed to qualify as a certified public accountant – all thanks to the effort she and her family made by combining these two productive activities, agriculture and handicrafts.

Her story touched our hearts, her handmade handicrafts filled our eyes with colours and joy and we were once again reminded of the power of craft women who can not only teach you about patience and simplicity but also fill your homes with real and unique handmade stories.

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Lenca pine needles crafts

Comments (3)

  1. Kate 10 months ago

    This is simply amazing… These items look so slick and stylish, you’d expect them to come from a designer, and yet they are made in a distant village by people who simply rely on their own taste!

  2. Lily 10 months ago

    I am LOVING my beautiful coasters! They help pull together minimalist design with eclectic pieces and are stylish from every perspective

  3. Julie 10 months ago

    I love these items, they are so stylish and colorful, and they perfectly match my country style apartment. I use baskets for serving bread and fruits. They are so different, all my friends ask where did I buy it.
    Love your project, guys. Such a great idea of helping people in communities

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