Many traditional techniques have already been replaced by shortcuts and conveniences brought by modernity. Skilled craftsmen are replaced with machines thus resulting in losing some of the traditional craft skills. To keep one’s culture intact, traditional skills and handmade products must be kept alive. They must be preserved because they are part of our history and cultural identity. This post lists how supporting locally handmade products help in preserving our tradition and identity.
1. By patronizing locally handmade products, you help keep the traditional craft skills alive and going.
Supporting handmade is supporting traditional skills. A lot of artisans use traditional skills. Most of them have acquired their skill from the previous generation. It was handed down to them by their parents or great grandparents by teaching them the industry and the craft skill. However, with the advancement of technology, products that were previously created by hand can now be done faster and easier with machines. Hence the demand for handmade products has diminished. Due to lesser demands, crafters have to shift to careers that can provide them with a steady income. However, the consistent decrease in our artisans may lead to having our traditional skills extinct.
It is saddening to lose these traditional skills. Most of the learned techniques employed by artisans have rooted back to a time when craftsmanship and quality were important and highly valued. Other neighboring countries are recognized for their specific exquisite traditional craftsmanship. With their consistent usage of their traditional skill, they have mastered it that led them to produce world-class items that are widely acknowledged. It would be good if we also have something we can call our own pride that speaks distinctly about our identity and history.
To preserve our traditional craft skills alive, an increase or steady demand for handcrafted products must be sustained. Consistent demand for these handmade products will result in the consistent practice of traditional skills. Every time we promote and patronize locally handmade products, we enable our artisans to pursue their industry and make the traditional skill valuable. The more valuable it becomes the more chances that they will pass the skill to the next generation. Moreover, others will also develop a genuine interest in it, thus keeping the art and craft alive.
2. By patronizing locally handmade products, you help in creating a continuous demand for traditional craft skills education
To produce an aesthetically pleasing and durable handcrafted product, artisans have to invest time improving their skills, put forth hard work, and dedication in learning it. It may have taken them years to learn and perfect it. As the demise of handicrafts is seemed to be occurring, the demand for learning the skill required to produce these goods becomes unappealing for many. Moreover, artisans are beginning to be discouraged to spend time improving their traditional craft skills. Some crafters are beginning to invest their time learning a skill that will enable them to stay competitive in a technologically advanced society. If these skills are left unpracticed artisans may eventually unlearn it. This may result in the rarity of finding someone to teach the skill on the next generation. Moreover, no one may even be interested to learn the traditional skills in the future. If both of these happen, it would lead to the demise of traditional skills and stop the production of our traditional products.
To keep others interested in learning traditional craft skills and producing native items, support for locally handmade products is needed. If artisan’s countrymen wouldn’t patronize their products and opt to purchase imported goods, the traditional skill these artisans have invested to learn will be taken for granted.
3. By buying handmade products you somehow help in shaping and maintaining the culture that you live in.
Buying handmade is not just about money, its about preserving our culture. Once we lose the traditional way of doing things we somewhat lose a part of our cultural identity. By supporting locally handmade products we allow craftsmen to continue being part of our society’s history and preserve our culture. May it be weavers, carvers, silversmiths, clay artists, or glass artists, supporting handmade enables us to contribute in keeping traditional arts and crafts for the next generation.
Each purchase conveys to the community of artists and craftsmen that their product or service is still needed and desired. It makes them eager to reinvest and continue producing more. By supporting local products we help artisans to realize that producing handcrafted goods is a financially feasible career choice. This can sustain a good number of skilled artisan base, thus ensuring that artisans employing traditional skills to produce native products will always be part of our culture.
Many skilled industries have been lost, but we still have some left. These industries need our support. Patronizing handmade products will mean that future generations will still see these valuable native products and traditional techniques and skills for many years. While we can still help to preserve traditional skills it would be good to do our part. Let’s not realize this need late and delay doing our part at a future date.
Love Local. Shop Local. Support Local.