Friday, January 18, 2013

Some facts about Ethiopian weavers

- Weaving is considered a male skill and weavers are almost exclusively male. Spinning is traditionally done by the women. It’s been hard for Ethiopians to move past these cultural norms.
- Weavers build their looms by hand, and the looms are made to be mobile. So the weaver can carry the loom to find work — nomadic style.
- When they set up a loom, a traditional weaver will dig a hole beneath the set-up for his feet, and the weaver will literally spend all day toiling in the dirt.
- Weavers are considered very low in social stature. If there was a caste system, they would be almost rock-bottom. The only vocations that are lower are blacksmiths and tanners.
- A weaver typically makes about 300-400 Birr per month. (100 Birr is about $5.50) This is not a livable wage.
But Ethiopian cotton is excellent. And the textiles Ethiopians produce are stunning.

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