Local artisans living near Gorongosa National Park are starting a new income stream by crafting and selling locally dyed and hand-sewn fabrics, pottery and baskets.
The evolving handmade arts sector is expected to have a positive impact on area families and their communities.
“This project started in 2021,” explains Winnie Makande, Social Entrepreneurship Manager. “We are currently working with 64 artisans (49 women) in the districts of Gorongosa, Nhamatanda and Cheringoma in basketry, cutting and sewing, pottery and sculpture. These people are learning new techniques and about the conscious use of material, including the manufacture and use of natural dyes. Our goal is to link these people their products with the market.”
The project is an initiative of the Park’s Sustainable Development Department and is creating an alternative source of income, especially for women living outside the Park.Josefina Gonçalo
Ms. Makande said while some sales have been made in the basketry area, future sales will encompass all areas, including the use of banana fiber as a method of recycling.
“We plan to have our products in local markets in 2022, and later on, for sale internationally. Our products are of good quality and handmade by the women living around the park,” she said.
Development of a new handcrafted arts center – called the ‘Women’s Craft Center’ – is planned for the next few years and will be located in the district of Cheringoma.
Mozambicans are known for being artistically talented and living in a country where vibrant color, creativity, and art is an important part of their culture.
Florinda Neto, Arts and Craft Supervisor and the trainer of all the women groups.
Winnie Makande, Social Entrepreneurship Manager