Reviving a Traditional Craft in China

In China, 40 million people from ethnic minority groups are living in extreme poverty – that’s 32% of the country’s poor. This includes indigenous groups from the Yunnan Province, such as the Mosuo, Norzu, Pumi, Tibetan and Yi people.

Mainly due to the modern-day mass production of cheaper “artisanal” Yunnan products, each community is struggling to hold onto its traditions and trades, including the Yi’s vibrant, iconic embroidery. Now, as part of a regional UNDP culture-in-development project, this meticulous handicraft is making a comeback. Training sessions have helped local women to learn new crafting, budgeting and marketing skills. 

China traditional handicraft

This private sector partnership has already benefited over 2,500 people. With demand for their products now increasing nationally and internationally, the UNDP Shop is another way to help these communities get and stay out of poverty. Or as one Mosuo designer puts it, “A full, vibrant life for my children. That is my dream.”