Support Fair Trade Jewelry Artisans – Karen Tribe – During Fair Trade Month

Many people know that October is breast cancer awareness month however fewer are aware that October is also Fair Trade month. One can support fair trade month by purchasing goods which are designated fair trade products and/or produced by fair trade organizations.

Another way to support fair trade is to become aware by reading about fair trade and fair trade producers. One such group of fair trade producers are the Karen Tribe. The Karen Tribe while originally from Burma and Tibet today members of the tribe also live in northern Thailand in Lamphun Province.

Drawing on their ethnic tribal background for their traditional skills and artistry in working with silver, the Karen tribe create beautiful pieces of fair trade artisan jewelry. The pieces they produce are mainly pieces of handmade silver jewelry.

Karen women adorn themselves with handmade silver jewelry for occasions such as New Year’s festivities. It is at these occasions when they know that young men for neighboring villages will be visiting. The handmade silver jewelry that they wear is an indication of wealth.

In some villages the young men craft artifacts from silver to be worn by their future brides on their wedding day. The majority of men are no longer actively practicing silver smithing. Women however have begun producing handmade silver jewelry as a means of earning an income to support their families.

The Karen silver jewelry designs have an elegant sophistication, yet at the same time, a level of simplicity about them. The ethnic motifs and matte finish of their traditional handmade silver jewelry reflects their connection to nature. Their contemporary designs mix tradition with modern elements and are of the highest quality craftsmanship with intricate details and finishing. Karen jewelry designs are a good choice for achieving current fashion trend looks.