Comite Artisanal Haitien (CAH) was founded in 1973 to support rural craft persons from Haiti. CAH gives local artisans the ability to sell their crafts in the local markets in Port-au-Prince. The aim of the organization is to build a sale outlet for artisanal communities and help reduce the flow of migrating youth from these communities into the city as wage workers.
Rich traditions and skills passed down many generations, make Haitian crafts a reflection of a vibrant and creative community. Most of the crafts include unique metal artworks made from recycled oil drums, river stone carvings from naturally occurring, soft river bed stones, papier maché masks and hand painted wooden products.
Today, CAH is a non-profit organization that represents about 200 artisans from various parts of Haiti. In addition to creating new job opportunities, CAH offers skill training, literacy camps, health facilities and financial assistance to its artisan members. Artisans producing for CAH are paid a fair wage and organize themselves in various ways such as cooperatives, family workshops or independent artisans.
Comite Artisanal Haitien has made endless efforts to connect to international retailers and developmental agencies to promote these beautiful crafts. CAH has had some success by participating at a folk art fair in the United States and receiving a grant from the Inter-American Foundation to expand in their efforts. Every member and employee at CAH is committed to a better future for the artisans and the rich Haitian crafts.
Use our Vetiver Charger Plates, their an accent piece, great for your presentation or just for decoration. Do not place food directly on plate liners. Since Pre-Columbian times Haiti's skilled artisans have been k anown to use natural fibers such as palm, vetiver, sisal, banana leaf and vine into functional baskets and works of art.
Comite Artisanal Haitien, supports over 200 artisans and their rich vibrant culture. The organization has helped these skilled artisans, to promote their generation old heirloom crafts. The various crafts practiced by Haitian artisans include, unique metal artworks, river stone carvings, paper-mache masks, basketry and hand painted wooden products.
Haiti is known worldwide for its unique steel drum art. Artisans collect these salvaged industrial drums to create beuatiful pieces of art.The artist first removes both round ends of the drum and fills the cylinder with straw and dried banana or sugar cane leaves. He sets it on fire, to burn off any paint or residues inside the cylinder. After the metal cools down, it is cut and flattened into a "metal canvas".
With chalk, the design is drawn onto the metal sheet. Using hammer, chisel and various other basic tools, the metal is given shape and several decorative patterns are embossed onto the metal, creating a unique and treasured piece of recycled art. The artisans' creativity is inspired by themes familiar to their island life, including the sea and religion. Colors, coats and finishes are applied to the embossed metal, finally the piece is signed off by the artisan.
This particular art form was born in Haiti in the early 1950's by a simple blacksmith, Georges Liautaud. In his small shop, he made and repaired tools and created metal crosses for the graves in the Croix-des-Bouquets cemetery. It was at the encouragement of an American teacher, DeWitt Peters, who in 1944 opened the Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, that Georges Liautaud expanded into the creation of decorative metal sculptures. A few talented men apprenticed under him, and this tradition has continued. A particular metal artist will have assistants, who, as they mature in the art, will branch out and begin expressing themselves with their own designs. In the recent years, metal drums are being replaced by plastic drums, and the availability of metal scrap for these beautiful artworks is dimishing.