Arts & Culture

Made Local: Tiverton Hosts 19th Annual Cultural Survival Bazaar

TIVERTON, R.I. — Cultural Survival, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, MA, will hold its 19th annual Indigenous arts festival in Tiverton. Find out more information here.

The event takes place on July 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Tiverton Four Corners, 3852 Main Road.

With 30+ years of connecting Indigenous artists worldwide with local artists and communities, this Bazaar will feature traditional and contemporary handcrafts from over 60 cultures. Among the vendors featured in the festivities will be Jabulile Nala, a master ceramicist from South Africa; Project Have Hope (PHH), an Ugandan NGO which works to support Acholi women; and Guatemala Art and Culture Connection.

Among the artists attending is master potter Jabulile Nala, who is bringing Zulu pottery made by her family and students. Through a pottery process used for thousands of years, Zulu artists collect clay and stack it into a pot, decorate it, fire it in an aloe leaf pit, and polish it. Nala combines old techniques with new designs to create beautiful pieces for collecting water, cooking, and in ancestral ceremonies. Nala also teaches pottery-making to others, helping them to continue the traditional practice and support local livelihoods.

Residing in the Acholi Quarter of Kampala, Uganda, the women Project Have Hope supports bear the physical and emotional scars of a difficult past in the nation’s troubled north. PHH works to empower these women. With the income generated by selling their stylish handmade paper bead jewelry, plus vocational training, the women can feed and support their families and work towards a brighter future. PHH also supports a number of other initiatives, including agricultural programs, and offers micro-loans to support small businesses. “When asked what my dream was, I did not even know what it meant,” says Lanyero Jenifer, a participant in the adult literacy program. “But after two classes, we were taught about dreams and visions. I have since then developed a motto that says ‘I can.’ This has made me think big!”

A world away, in Mayan villages around Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, Imre and Lorna Kepes established their social enterprise, Guatemalan Art and Culture Connection, to introduce US audiences to the rich works of Tz’utujil Maya art. Buying directly from over 20 artists in San Pedro la Laguna, they are part of a community effort to preserve artistic tradition and provide stable incomes. Vibrant paintings, embroidered tapestries, and beaded jewelry overflow their booth.

Since 1975, Cultural Survival Bazaars have provided a market for thousands of Indigenous artists and cooperatives spanning six continents and over sixty countries. This year, the Bazaars will feature Indigenous artists from the US, Mexico, Ghana, Peru, Burkina Faso, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Uganda, Tibet, Nepal, and more. Each year the Bazaars generate about half a million dollars for Indigenous artists, performers, and projects. Cultural Survival, an international NGO based in Cambridge, MA, advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures, and political resilience.

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