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01-07-2010
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Adorngirl's Avatar
 
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Tribal themes - why don't the authentic tribal items get more attention?
Tribal has been a key theme season after season in its slightly different guises of traveller, safari, and so forth, how come the originators don't do as well as the fashion houses who imitate cultural garbs?


Bangles and necklaces from Ituen Basi print made In Nigeria



Set of Bangles from Elle.com Louis Vuitton/ Juicy Couture/ Kim Isacs Ohn/ , Isharya/ Sergio Rossi

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07-07-2010
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Actually I prefer the first ones. I suppose the reason authentic items don't get as much attention is because they are harder to find or don't grab the attention of label whores so much. I think you could post authentic items here and get a good response.

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07-07-2010
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I've been wondering the same thing, you would think people would want to buy the real thing not some poor imatation. However, I think one reason why designer versions of tribal items are more popular is because people care about what label they are wearing. Also for some it might be easier to go to H&M, Forever 21, or to a designers store and buy something tribal. I personally would rather buy and authentic tribal jewlery because you are supporting those who made it (thus improving their quality of life) and also because it would be more valuable to me, to know that someone took time to craft this peice together. I think its more rewarding to buy something that is authentic, not designer. I really don't think it is that hard to find places which sell tribal items, just go to your local fair trade shop they are bound to have some peices. Although, this might just be easy for me to do because I live in my states first all fair trade town. Great thread I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say on this topic!

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07-07-2010
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Thank you so much for making this thread! Like most of you, I too would prefer to buy authentic items.
I've thought the same thing myself, but never decided to make a thread on it.

It would be cool, if people posted real authentic items.
I would love to see them!

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08-07-2010
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totally the real ones are so much refreshing!! maybe its that part Deborah mentioned about not finding the ones you want that easily but... hey!!! We all know certain shops of fair commence that sell those type of pieces... dont we?

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10-07-2010
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Thanks for posting this. I've often wondered that myself. I think some folks are really into the "label" aspect. I think others are intrigued by "ethnic" items and want to show that they're open minded, but in reality don't want to get "too" close.

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10-07-2010
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Because most tribes/indigenous groups are screwed and don't have the means to import them, let alone make a solid business out of it.. the 'real' ones are probably the ones foreigners went, bargained for, acquired in massive quantities for a fraction of the price they're actually worth and sold as exotic goods at ridiculous prices back home, hence the poor popularity when you can get something similar at F21.
I think the only way to really help tribe or indigenous artisans is to actually go to their communities and buy their items on your own either at the price they're selling it or give them a little more.. sometimes they don't even know the actual value of what they're making and often undervalue it just so it's easier to sell something and indirectly trade it for food..

Excuse the pessimistic tone of my post but.. just wanted to add that.

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Last edited by MulletProof; 10-07-2010 at 07:43 PM.
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11-07-2010
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No, MulletProof, you do have a very good point. It probably is best to visit tribes and indigenous artisans in their communities. This way the money goes directly towards their livelyhood. Sadly, not all of us can afford to travel to these communities. What I think would be great is for these tribes to be given the opprotuntity to create a business for themselves, perhaps through an organization or by microloans (where people lead a small amount to someone/a group so they can start a business and then they have to pay the loan back). When you think about it, they are getting scammed out of millions of dollers, all because they do not have access to places where they will sell and also stores like F21 are copying their designs.

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14-07-2010
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Image from here

There was a story in the news about people who keep hyenas as pets in Nigeria, and I couldn't help but notice that the true story was the man skirts everywhere. I personally think this guy rocks the look.

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14-07-2010
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Hyenas are one of my favorite animals. That pic just makes it all that much more awesome and a little sad. Still if it licked me I probably catch some horrid bacteria and die.

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17-07-2010
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I especially cherish all my jewelry that I've bought, so far, in Africa, or through fair trade organizations. There are many that are a member of World Fair Trade Organization. Organizations under this like Ten Thousand Villages have 100% of the proceeds going back to the artisan.

Sometimes the wares sold seem slightly expensive, however, you're essentially helping others help themselves to rise above poverty, and allowing them to preserve their crafts and traditions. I believe that's well worth your money.

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Last edited by Susanna-Cole; 17-07-2010 at 03:02 PM.
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18-07-2010
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hyenas are very weird..cunning and greedy animals. wouldnt get even 100 metres close to that man! Love his look though perfectly matches the hyena skin

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19-07-2010
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I love Ten Thousand Villages its such a great shop! I love that all the profit goes back to those who make the goods, its the way it should be in my opinion. Yes, sometimes the prices might be hiked up a bit, but wouldn't it be better to pay a little bit more and know that the person who made it is receiving a buck from the sale then to buy a cheep nock off where only the brand makes a sale?

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27-07-2010
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It might also be in the design.. You don't have to make a big change, you can still hold on to the tradition.. Sometimes just a little push towards a more appealing material or finish will give a drastic improvement. Or colour if that's allowed.

Just speaking from my own experience, with what I've come across. There are some beautiful things of course that can remain as they are :-P

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28-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Stylin View Post
hyenas are very weird..cunning and greedy animals. wouldnt get even 100 metres close to that man! Love his look though perfectly matches the hyena skin
I know! its bitchin'! I am not sure if you know about this, but do you happen to know if I can buy those skirts somewhere? do they export them? Where in Africa do you live?

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