The project weaving a brighter future for Cambodia’s rural women

A Cambodian social enterprise is giving the ancient art of Khmer weaving a modern twist – and supporting rural women at the same time.

Kbach is the Khmer tradition of decoration. Patterns range from intricately designed lotuses and Chan flowers, to symbols of snail shells and fire. Its motifs can be found in traditional furniture, stone carving and pottery. The form that first caught the eye of Dutch social entrepreneur Ka-Lai Chan though, was the ancient art of weaving baskets.

Basket weaving is a common way for many Cambodian households to make money, and is usually done by women. Kro Bei Riel, a village near Siem Reap, is said to be the original village to do the specific kind of basket weaving that inspired Chan to launch her social enterprise Manava.

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