Two things are currently conspiring to put cottage industries in grave danger.
One. The growing obsession of the west for unique goods produced from small cottage industries placing a high demand on small goods producers to figure out ways to make their wares en masse…..which they were never intended to be.
Two. The growing obsession in the East to import western capitalism and big business into their countries. Both to boost the economies and to fit in with their western neighbors.
In the year since I have been back in America, Myanmar has opened a Swensen’s, Yves Rocher, and Pizza Company. Chains are chomping at the bit to get a piece of real estate in this country that is just positioned on the precipice of exploding with change…..
But what about the rich cultural traditions and trades that are imbedded into the national culture. Where will the puppet master go? Or the Tradesmen in Bagan that create such exquisite lacquer ware? Or the Kayin that so delicately weave their threads into works of art….
check out some of the trades that we might be witnessing the extinction of here: