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Joshua Hirschstein and Maren Beck
Photography by Joe Coca
What began as a couple’s backpacking adventure with their young sons in Southeast Asia transformed into a thriving fair trade business and a renewed sense of well-being. Part travelogue, part silk-weaving primer, Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos is a tender portrait of an American family’s travels in Laos’s remote Houaphan Province. As they learn about the ancient silk weaving traditions in the hill tribe community of Xam Tai, so too they gain a profound appreciation for Lao culture and traditions.
Over the past decade, Joshua and Maren have developed deep connections with the villagers of Xam Tai who raise their own fiber from silkworms, create their own natural dyes, and weave the patterns of their ancestors into healing cloths, ceremonial textiles, and daily wear. Their narrative provides an in-depth and rare view into the everyday lives, culture, and craft of Lao silk weavers. Engaging personal stories and intimate photography bring it all into focus: the patience and skill of the artisans, the steady pace of village life, and a commitment to honoring the old ways.
224 pages: 235 color photographs, bibliography, map, and index
We highly recommend this book. The photos are beautiful and the stories unforgettable. A great gift for anyone interested in handwork.
$34.95 Trade Paperback