|Exhibitors show traditional costumes and silver ornaments during the 2018 China (Guizhou) International Folk Crafts and Cultural Products Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province. [Photo/Xinhua]|
Sarah Horowitz came from the US to Southwest China's Guizhou province in 2014 and has since been fascinated by the native batik culture.
Instead of becoming an avid collector, however, she volunteered to promote the Chinese traditional cloth dyeing craft by establishing a workshop helping local craftsmen better position their products in the market.
After visiting more than 20 ethnic minority villages in the province, she picked Jijia village, a Miao ethnic village with a population of less than one thousand, and located the workshop there.
"When I took the batik to America for exhibition and sale, I found that Americans loved it and it sold very well. It gives women a great sense of confidence and makes them more recognized and motivated to the craft," said Sarah.
Over the years, she has been tackling problems like underdeveloped logistics and outdated design. The most challenging one is communicating with people behind the craft, mostly women who have been left by their husbands and children alone at home and speak no Mandarin.
"I don't think what I have done is about improving living conditions, but I think their approach has improved. The inheritance of batik is a long process and requires patience," she said.
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