Mlabri adopted this new handicraft that seemed to go
quite well with their quiet life style and started off
with the production of the original Mlabri hammock,
a.k.a. the Jungle Hammock. Meanwhile, they have also
mastered the process of dying the cotton yarn as well
as some more intricate weaving techniques such as our
Sitting and V-weave hammocks. Men have joined the workforce
and production has expanded to include nine different
styles of hammocks that are being exported to more than
15 countries world wide.
Originally conceived and developed as
an alternative source of income for the Mlabri people,
meanwhile the Jumbohammock project has expanded to include
other disadvantaged groups in rural Thailand, notably
the Hmong and Northern Thai communities who live in
the same general area as the Mlabri in Ban Bunyuen.
Many of these weavers are older women, for whom field
work is not longer and option. Others are young women
with small children to care for. Some are men who have
found this an attractive means of supplementing their
income in off season.
Every hammock is produced in a healthy
environment (the home village) where each weaver can
work at his/her own chosen speed. Honest wages are received
and no discrimination is made on the basis of ethnicity,
gender, age, religion, education or office intrigues.
Weaving hammocks has given new status and self respect
to these people. They are productive members of their
families, communities and villages. The confidence they
have is reflected in the quality of their handiwork.
None of this would have been possible
without the people's own enthusiasm, or yours!