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Keeping traditions alive

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Hamzeh Natsheh, right, explains the glass making process at a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Amalia Palomino Jimenez learned the process of making tableaus of Peruvian culture from her grandfather.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Artisans from around the world participated in a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum last week, showcasing skills that have been in their families for generations. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

From a young age, Sanjar Nazarov of Uzbekistan has been learning the trade of his family. 

“Generation to generation, we learn it,” said Nazarov, sitting at his table at a pop-up store at the Mariposa Museum, sponsored by Joseph’s Coat of Peterborough, last week. Before him lay the fruits of what amounts to months, perhaps even year’s, worth of labor of embroidery, stitching patterns onto pillows and clothing.

“I’m the fourth generation,” said Nazarov, who said that his entire extended family – all 50 members or so – are involved in the embroidery business. 

It’s a common story among the artisans who were gathered at the Mariposa on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Their work and their background differed wildly – hand embroidery and silversmithing from India, molded tableaus featuring Peruvian culture, blown glass from Palestinian territories, and wooden spoons carved just a few miles from the Mariposa from Hancock wood, all packed within a few square feet.

“What we are doing is a form of cultural survival,” said Akhtar Mir, who was showcasing embroidered stoles from Kashmir, India. “We are all from different cultures, we all speak different languages, but we want to express our art. We want to share our culture.”

Nazarov’s story is echoed many times by the artisans at the pop-up shop. Many of them learned their trade at the knees of their own parents or grandparents, and are often the product of multiple generations working together at the same trade.

Some are dying arts.

Ujjwal Shrestha, of Nepal was at the Mariposa representing a community of artists who practice a number of trades, including papermaking, painting, weaving and silversmithing.

“The idea is to create enough demand to create a job that the next generation can work at year-round,” said Shrestha. “In Nepal, there is no school you can go to to learn these crafts. Those that do them, they learned them from their forefathers.”

But when demand for these specialized skills diminishes, said Shrestha, many of the youngest generation are forced to leave the family business and find work elsewhere.

“This information could die with this generation,” said Shrestha.

That’s why outreach such as the artisans visits to the United States is crucial to keeping these skills in demand.

Hamzeh Natsheh, of Palestine, is a fifth-generation creator of hand-blown glass and ceramics. He said that he spends most of his time now building those international relations. His family’s business dates back to the 1890s, and the patterns and shapes of the creations date back even further, mimicking the work of Phoenician glass from hundreds of years ago.

“Because it’s made the exact same,” said Natsheh. 

The glass swirls in cosmic colors that are created as a natural part of the process, said Natsheh.

“You don’t know exactly how it will come out, ever,” said Natsheh. “It means that each piece is one of a kind.”

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.