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When our business partners in Malaysia LokaLocal suggested we may be interested in participating in the Indigenous Arts Festival in Selangor, I must admit, I had to ask where's Selangor? Now I know it's the state that surrounds the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. In a taxi only 20 minutes from KL Sentral, so we are going to Kuala Lumpur, which makes it easier when coercing my TaiLeu sewers to dance, cook sticky rice and boil natural dyes. Fortunately they jumped at the chance to travel and immediately applied for passports, so here we go! Arriving in Kuala Lumpur we were met...
Today, you may only identify the Kui (pronounced Gway) people by a comb worn in the front of the women’s hair. And not all the women wear this. However Say, our driver, guide and true lover of the unknown, was in search of a Kui village, an ethnic group he had not met.
It was dark when we arrived at the Muang Long market and the vendors themselves were still arriving and claiming their square. The Akha Pouly women were over in the corner, and it felt good over there. I would go around the market to see what was for sale, take another turn to see what had sold, but, I best liked the corner with the Akha women.
In January I was invited by the British Council to tell the story of Ma Te Sai, at a conference which exposed different Southeast Asian business models to Burmese producers, and shared knowledge of the region. It gave me incredible impetus to keep moving forward, mutually developing with our artisans.