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Swords into Plowshares Recycled Brass Scissors

Item # 36392
No longer available

Made in the mountain village of Kaokaban in Yemen, these distinctive brass scissors are more than an eye-catching addition to your crafts box -- they're unique works of metal art with a fascinating history. Made from spent bullet casings, they are the most striking example we've seen of the tools of war being recycled into tools of creation.

In a region where many have been driven to nearby cities to make a living, the skilled metal workers of Kaokaban have worked hard to market their crafts to distant markets, keeping more than 90% of the export price of their goods. This has has allowed them to stay in their hereditary homes to pass their skills onto the next generation.

  • Large ($12.95); 6.25" L (15.9 cm)
  • Small ($9.95); 4.5" L (11.4 cm)
  • Ornate ($18.95); 7" L (17.8 cm)
  • Made with recycled brass bullet casings
  • Handmade in and fairly traded from Yemen

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Artisan: Yemen Handcrafts

Artisan Yemen Handcrafts

The accumulated skills and techniques of the many different civilizations which have called Yemen home over the centuries have given this region a rich and fascinating cultural history. Generations of local wisdom and experience are an integral component of Yemen's many handcrafts. But despite the creativity and ample skill used to turn local materials into exquisite works of art, most local artwork is still virtually unknown outside of Yemen. Part of this lack of exposure comes from the economic realities of contemporary Yemen - the majority of Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) investment tends to fall into proven, yet crowded, sub-sectors such as retail stores, taxis, telecom bureaus, and restaurants, etc. Entrepreneurs have generally been hesitant to invest in new subsectors (such as promoting artisan wares in the global marketplace) even when they have the capital to do so. Seeking a way to encourage diversification, the Yemen Council of Ministers established a national agency to promote SMEs by planning, directing, coordinating, and monitoring several programs with partner organizations. Improved provision of non-financial services, such as marketing, new line development, market access, and technical training has been especially successful.

It was from this program that Yemen Handcrafts was born. Launched to identify and promote unique products produced by small and micro businesses and social organizations, their goal was to expand the country's domestic and international trade. Additionally, they aim to give advice to the producers regarding how to improve production methods, quality control, marketing, and design to make Yemeni products more attractive to export markets.

From stained glass window decorations that reflect the history and architectural wonder of Yemen's capital city, Sana'a, to brass scissors made in a mountaintop village from recycled bullet casings, each piece is a brilliant representation of a people and culture that have grown from a melting pot of influences into something truly unique.

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