Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

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CAT hand made dolls, an icing on the cake

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Aaron Kaah

The handicraft section at the Center for Appropriate Technology (CAT) brought forth the doll making project in 1998 under the supervision of Dr Senta Siller of the Germany Senior Expert Service. That same year a self help women’s initiative group called Akwatinuighah with 9 members located in the depths of the Mankon community in Bamenda Cameroon picked on the idea and over the years transferred and shared this knowledge with another self help group called Akaankang in the year 2002. The idea spread like wild fire amongst many women self help groups in the North West Region of Cameroon.

The dolls making project was hatched to provide another entertaining alternative way for rural women and young girls in the communities to earn income and shun urban migration and other social vices that were detrimental to themselves and families. These dolls made out of ethnic knowledge have garments, Jewries and furniture for the needling of attractive marketable dolls in a family friendly way depicting the life, fashion and color of the people and places of the grass fiend of Cameroon. While helping these women to boast the local development of the communities and traditions, the project also imbued in them craft art skills.

The Dolls produced at CAT range from 50CM to 12CM and are sold at 3-30US Dollars. In Bamenda Cameroon these dolls can be accessed at the Prescraft center and handicraft shops and at the German embassy in Yaounde Cameroon and the Seaman Mission in Douala in Cameroon. Dr Senta from DGFK, too, had also helped to market the dolls in bazaars and events across the Atlantic. Also available at on the shelves are post cards designed with the portraits of the various traditional instruments in the grass field of Cameroon.

These post cards bear so many entertaining messages and description about these traditional musical instruments that translate the traditions and customs of the Cameroon people. The cards are made out of environmentally friendly paper that can be recycled for further use.

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posted @ 2:13 PM,

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