Man's hands working with tin
Crafts,  Culture & tradition,  Friendly Friday,  Themed galleries

Using our hands: handicrafts around the world

Travel opens our eyes not only to the differences between various countries and cultures but also their similarities. One thing it seems that we all have in common is the desire to use our hands to craft beauty from simple objects. And what we create says much about our culture and heritage.

For this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of Hands and Feet I have compiled this collection of photos from around the world showing people doing just that; working with their hands to fashion beautiful objects. From weaving to printing, calligraphy to painting; woodwork and metalwork; restoring old artefacts and creating new ones. Enjoy the tour!

Textiles

Weaving in Peru, Guatemala and Laos; carpet-making in Uzbekistan; and block printing in Jaipur.

Brush and pen

Painters in Bulgaria, Chile, Uzbekistan and Estonia; calligraphy in Marrakesh and Takayama, Japan; and traditional mask-making in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Wood, metal and stone

Intricate marquetry work in Hakone, Japan; learning wood-carving in Khiva, Uzbekistan; traditional stone inlay (Parchinkari) in Agra; and working with metal in Ecuador and Vietnam.

Restoration

Restoring old architecture in Lviv, Ukraine, and religious friezes at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

And more …

Hand-rolling of cigars in Havanna; stringing flowers for religious festivals in Jaipur; and grinding argan nuts to make oil in the Ourika Valley near Marrakesh.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of these craft items find their way into my luggage from time to time. You might spot the Japanese woodwork and Uzbek painting among the souvenirs in my post about Dust collectors or precious memories?, along with many other beautiful items crafted by hand.

From South America to Europe to the Far East, the dexterity of the human hand, combined with the creativity of the human imagination, continues to inspire me as I travel.

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