Meet our makers. Our artisans that we work with in collaboration with Turquoise Mountain predominantly come from the Rakhine state.
Rakhine State has a plethora of challenges characterised by bitter inter-communial violence (over 300,000 Muslims remain displaced in protracted humanitarian crisis) and deeply divided politics, the highest poverty levels in the country. (78% versus a national average of 37.5% as measured by the World Bank poverty index), a vulnerability due to natural disasters with annual cyclones and flooding, and a long history of marginalisation from the ethnic Bamar centre.
In this context livelihood opportunities are critically poor and many are forced to migrate within Myanmar or abroad.
Despite these challenges, Ramree island, in southern Rakhine State, has retained a rich history of goldsmithing. It is believed that metal work in the area began during the sixth century with the production of coins. By local account this tradition developed further when goldsmiths supplied jewellery to the Arakan Kingdom during the seventeeth century.
Today, this ancient craft and its customs is what Bex is supporting through working closely with Turquoise Mountain. Both Bex and Turquoise Mountain aspire to sustain and adapt in the fragile and evolving environment of Rakhine State and modern Myanmar.
We are incredibly proud to be collaborating so closely with such skilled workers that apply their knowledge of goldsmithing with such grace and elegance. When a design is realised the artisans sit down with the design, they meditate and profoundly analise the sketch before starting their work with their bare hands.
INTRODUCING THE MAKERS