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.
Our Pumpkin Box is made of grey soapstone and was hand carved by our Haitian Artisans. The stone is soaked in water to make it easier to handle. It then is hammered, chiseled and filed to get the right lines. This process could take hours depending on the piece they are creating. They then sand and buff to get the soft luster on the pieces.
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 Haitien artisans include, unique metal artworks, river stone carvings, paper mache masks, basketry and hand painted wooden products.
Size varies slightly on soapstone boxes due to they are handmade
Dimensions are approximately - 5-1/2'' - 6" high x 6'' diameter
Soapstone carving goes back 3,000 years to China then spread to the Cretan people of Greece, the Egyptians, the Vikings and Zimabwe, Africa, Iran, mainland Europe and the Inuit tribes of Alaska and throughout the Americas. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, which means it changes from one type of stone to another through time and pressure; it also has a talc base. Because of its malleability, it has been used as a carving material for centuries.
The color of soapstone changes, depending on the location and proximity of various mineral deposits in the local area. Colors can be green, black, white, and pink and some stone has flecks in it based on the mineral content that can change the hues and markings.
Haitian soapstone carvings are primarily gray, green or white. Since the 2011 earthquake, Haitian artisans have increased their production of their wonderful soapstone crafts to create much needed sources of income. Many items are whimsical and fun, yet show incredible craftsmanship.