Sunshine Wrap Bracelet
This beautiful, intricately beaded bracelet wraps 3 times around the wrist and is made by home-based women artisans in Guatemala. Our cute unikati & co charm included!
*This item comes with a little story attached (See last image), perfect for gifts.
Material: Yarn and Miyuki beads
Size: 51 cm length, fits small & medium wrists
The Story: The women that bead the bracelets for us live alongside Lake Atitlan beneath the Atitlan volcano. In October 2005 the intense rains produced by Hurricane Stan swept along the Central American coastline causing a mudslide that came off the volcano and buried their village. Fifty homes and several hundred people disappeared. Currently, depending upon market demand, between fifty and seventy-five young Tzutuhil-speaking Mayan women beaders relocated to new homes on the edges of that lost village, Panabaj, handcraft each bracelet and cuff that we sell. These women generally work at home in small family groups consisting of sisters, sisters-in-laws, and cousins. By pooling their labor at home they are able to jointly care for infants and perform their traditional tasks while earning up to three times the standard wage for women in rural Guatemala.
As designs become more complex, the women will add beads of different sizes and materials to the flat bracelets by spearing them up from the table with a needle and deftly affixing them to the body of the bracelet on the loom. Layers of beads can be built up in a process of needlework that is so quick and precise it seems like sleight of hand. Crochet and macramé styles are entirely assembled before beads begin to be added to them. Beaders must learn to weave or sculpt each new design, and to achieve the uniformity necessary they must often memorize hundreds of steps for each style. Typically, older girls that have left school but have not yet married become beaders to earn money for threads that they can weave into sumptuous brocade blouses for their own use. They also help their household economies, contributing earnings that help their younger siblings stay in school longer.