Large White Soapstone Mermaid FigurineMeasures - 9 1/4'' high x 2 5/8'' wide x 4 5/8'' deepCrafted by Artisans in Haiti
Small Gray Soapstone Mermaid FigurineMeasures - 7'' high x 2 1/4'' wide x 3/1/2'' deepCrafted by Artisans in Haiti
Back Side of Soapstone Mermaid FigurinesCrafted by Artisans in Haiti
Artisan Business Network
Empowering Haiti's Artisan Culture to Improve Community Wellbeing
Haiti is often considered the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Haitian artisans live in a country where the political climate and hardships imposed by economic embargos and sanctions in the 1990's have contributed to poverty and accelerated environmental degradation. Health care and education are unobtainable dreams for the impoverished 75-80% majority. The average income is $55. per month. Only 40% of the population has access to potable drinking water and 25% have access to sanitary sewage systems. Infant mortality is over 7%, malnutrition is a common ailment, and almost half of the population is illiterate.
Despite this adversity there is hope. The Artisan Business Network (ABN) empowers Haitians with entrepreneurial tools, design input, and market access. The ABN is making essential improvements the earnings or artisans, helping them to provide for their families and community wellbeing through commerce based in Haiti's profound artisanal culture.
ABN strives to empower Haiti’s artisan culture in order to improve community well-being. They have three depots located in Jacmel, Port-au-Prince and Croix-des-Bouquets and support the traditional arts in several mediums including: metal crafts, soapstone, paper mache, and plant fibers.
Talented Haitians are ready and eager to recapture the losses brought about by the economic trade embargo of the 1990's, subsequent internal political deadlock, and the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake. Because of the efforts of ABN, and their ability to connect artisan handcrafts with the international market, many artisans are now able to better care for themselves and their families.
If you swim with the mermaids, you will love our hand carved white or grey soapstone mermaids. 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.
Large White Figurine Measures - 9-1/4'' high x 2-5/8'' wide x 4-5/8'' deep
Small Gray Figurine Measures - 7'' high x 2-1/4'' wide x 3-1/2'' deep
Vetiver is an aromatic grass indigenous to Haiti having a cornucopia of uses. It has been used to treat muscular aches, improve circulation, relieve melancholy and nervous tension, and to ensure restful sleep. In addition, it’s valued by the perfume industry for its fragrance-holding properties and is used in many popular perfumes and colognes.
Perhaps most notable is vetiver's contribution to soil and water conservation. This grass is becoming globally recognized as a first line defense in sediment control, land stabilization, and rehabilitation.
During the embargo, Haitians deforested their mountainous island for firewood, exposing the slopes to erosion and land slides. Vetiver's deep and fast growing root system binds the soil and prevents erosion from water runoff.
Vetiver is an excellent pioneer plant on disturbed land. It improves the micro environment so local and native species of trees and shrubs can establish themselves later. It is very manual labor for the Haitan farmer. They must pull the plant from the earth, beat the dirt from the root system, when their finished they have pure vetiver root. This is when the artisans then begins to create, and the perfume companies can extract the oils
For your enjoyment, Haitian artisans have woven, twisted, and turned this useful grass into unique birdhouses. Your support will help the artisans make a living from vetiver - a renewable natural resource.