Live Chat with the Artist-Munira Akilova in Tajikistan (April 2020)

April 25, 2020

Want a break from the 24 hour news cycle, “all the pandemic all the time”? Looking for a unique getaway in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown? Are you worried you may never be able to travel again?     Take a trip to the heart of the ancient Silk Road, for a live chat with Munira Akilova in Tajikistan. On April 23, 2020, we recorded our first ever Live Chat with the Artist video. We sat down on Zoom with Munira Akilova, handicraft designer and manager for Armughon Handicrafts and Ar...

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The Parable of The Scarf That Turned a Mom into A Hero

The Parable of The Scarf That Turned a Mom into A Hero

March 25, 2020

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Kyrgyz Elecheck Headdress

The Elechek Headdress: Kyrgyz Tradition

November 09, 2019

Have you every wondered about those dramatic turban-like headdresses worn by some Kyrgyz women? Learn a little bit about the culture and history behind the traditional Kyrgyz headdress for married women, known as the "Elechek."

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Suzani: Through the Eye of the Needle into the Universe

Suzani: Through the Eye of the Needle into the Universe

September 26, 2019

“Suzani” is one of the most prominent large- scale traditional Central Asian textile arts. In modern-day Central Asia, “suzani” refers to both the large wall-size traditional embroidered tapestry and the embroidery style, used on clothing, home decor and accessories. The ancient art of suzani embroidery continues to play an important role not only in the decoration of the Central Asian home, but also in the life of the people and the pride of traditional folk art. The term “suzani” has recen...

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Suzani Pillow Cover from Tajikistan

Suzani Pillows: Tradition Transformed for the Modern Home

July 31, 2016

One of the most prominent types of large-scale Tajik embroidery is Suzani. (In modern parlance, "Suzani" refers to both the large wall-size traditional embroidered tapestry and the embroidery style, used on clothing, home decor and accessories.)

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Language in Tajikistan

Language in Tajikistan

July 09, 2016

Salom, everyone. Last week's Feedback Friday survey included a question about which languages are spoken in Tajikistan. Most people knew that Tajik (or "Tajiki" as they say in Tajik) and Russian were the principal languages used in Tajikistan. Russian was the lingua franca and official government language during Soviet times. After independence (1991), Tajik became the official national language. In practice, Russian continues to be used for business,

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Suzani:  Zerafshan to HoonArts, Part 1-Creating the Design

Suzani: Zerafshan to HoonArts, Part 1-Creating the Design

June 23, 2016

Suzani: Zerafshan to HoonArts, Part 1: Creating the Design Hello. My name is Rikki Quintana and I am the founder of HoonArts Fair Trade. I’m often asked how do we get our products here to the U.S. from Tajikistan, which is landlocked in the middle of Central Asia.

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Fair Trade Catch 22:  Fair Trade is Not

Fair Trade Catch 22: Fair Trade is Not "Handmade"

June 14, 2016

When I started HoonArts back in late 2014, I knew I didn’t know much of anything about retail, marketing or handicrafts. In fact, I dropped out of Girl Scouts at a young age because I hated selling Girl Scout cookies, and I gave up band in high school because

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Ikat: Fair Trade Authenticity or Commercial Fad?

Ikat: Fair Trade Authenticity or Commercial Fad?

May 31, 2016

Many of our textile products at HoonArts include authentic ikat fabrics from Uzbekistan in Central Asia. If you do a Google search, you fill find that “ikat” is a very trendy item. Not long ago, I saw a full page advertising spread in Travel and Leisure which was promoting all things “ikat,” with a focus on Central Asian patterns. What was most interesting to me, though,

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Suzani and Ikat Pillows (Fair Trade)

Suzani and Ikat Pillows (Fair Trade)

May 17, 2016

Traditionally Suzani refers to a wall-sized tapestry, but Americans don’t typically decorate their walls with small size tapestries so what they’ve done is they've taken the technique and created modern products to appeal to modern buyers

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Product Selection: Market Feedback When There is No Market

Product Selection: Market Feedback When There is No Market

April 04, 2016

I'm often asked how we choose products at HoonArts, especially since most of our products come from Tajikistan and have no established market and traditional "market research" is impossible. That is one of the great challenges of starting a new Fair Trade import business.

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Munira Akilova:  Artist, Designer, Teacher, Community Leader

Munira Akilova: Artist, Designer, Teacher, Community Leader

September 14, 2015

One of the great joys of building the HoonArts business is having direct access to an insider's view of the people, culture, history and more associated with the business. Our new Beyond Tourism blog is designed to give you access to that insider's view.  Each issue will contain an in-depth look at some aspect of life along the Great Silk Road.  In this inaugural issue, we are delighted to provide a more detailed profile of Munira Akilova, our primary textile expert and coordinator in Tajiki...

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