|Re: Indonesia - Part II
|Re: Indonesia - Part II -- Beadman
|Where am I?
This has been a fascinating and enjoyable read. Thank you. I just got back from Southeast Asia and you took me back there all over again. I particularly enjoyed your descriptions of what was going on in the workshop pictures - they were clear enough even for me to follow.
I know a number of potters in Thailand and in Zhejiang province in China who make very convincing reproductions/fakes, and I find their attitudes quite similar to these beadmakers in Java. There's a real pride in what they're doing, which comes from their technological expertise on the one hand and from a sense of keeping a cultural heritage alive on the other. But they want to separate themselves from the dealers who exploit and market their skills, even though they all know perfectly well what their work is being used for.
I get the impression that it's the fake Jatims that have allowed the beadmaking industry there to establish itself, and they've gotten scarily good at perfecting them. The attached picture is of a fake pelangi that sold for nearly $500 in February - I wonder how much of that the beadmaker got. Perhaps a little more than the Sumatran factory worker who makes high-priced running shoes.