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Ikat Silk at Siem Reap

on: 07 November 2012

In this image, a skilled silk worker is tying the silk threads into patterns. The craftswomen of Artisans d'Angkor are trained in this unique resist dyeing technique of ikat to produce their beautiful and high quality silk.

In the Puok District, just 15 kilometers away from Siem Reap, is the silk farm and production factory managed by Artisans d'Angkor. Rural underprivileged village girls are given the opportunity to learn the long-lost traditional techniques of silk dyeing and weaving through a 6-month training. Once completed, they are provided jobs to make a living with dignity. This is one of the objectives of Chantiers-Écoles de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP) when it set up Artisans d'Angkor in 1998.

For more info on Artisans d'Angkor, click here

In this image, a craftsman is polishing a buddhist statue at the Artisans d'Angkor showcase workshop in Siem Reap. Since its establishment in 1998, Artisans d'Angkor has dedicated itself to preserve the Khmer traditional skills such as stone carving, wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk-making. It does this through its 6-month training program in a specific traditional handicraft skill.

The disadvantaged rural youths from surrounding villages are given the opportunity to participate in the training, which also has the objective of providing them the opportunity to make a living with dignity. In most cases, they contribute back to their families whom are often very poor.

Just a stone throw away from Siem Reap's Old Market and Pub Street is the showcase workshop of Artisans d'Angkor. Visitors are given the opportunity to witness first hand the work of various craftsmen and women who had been trained and given jobs by Artisans d'Angkor. Under their 6-month training program, rural youths are given the opportunity to learn either the art of stone carving, wood carving, lacquering, silk weaving or silver plating.

Their social policy of training disadvantaged rural youths to lift their families from poverty, in turn rebuilds the local economy. It also has the benefit of reviving the age-old Angkorian craftmanship which was widely utilized in the ancient times to build Angkor's many cities and temples. Artisans d'Angkor has thus far opened 42 workshops in the Siem Reap province, providing employment to over 1300 locals, of which more than 900 are trained artisans.

For more info on Artisans d'Angkor, click here

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