When we think of Cambodia we think of a country in poverty, but it wasn’t always that way. In the 1950s it was one of the more advanced countries in South East Asia. This was until 1975 when Khmer Rouge forcefully took control of Phnom Phen under the dictatorship of the revolutionary leader Pol Pot. Severe damage was inflicted on the once flourishing country, forcing millions of people from the cities to work on farms and forced labour projects. Cambodians became malnourished, had limited access to healthcare, and poor working conditions. Many were executed; in all this dictatorship claimed the lives of more than 1.5 million people.
This is why Krama & Co. are so passionate about supporting women in Cambodia. We believe the sale of one krama can make a difference to a Cambodian family still living in poverty.
Krama are the national symbol of Cambodia and date back to the Ankor period (802 – 1431 AD). They are commonly made from cotton or silk with each province having its own different patterns and colours. They are generally made in rural villages and looms are set up under houses so the weaver can work in the shade. To make a krama would typically take 8 hours. Cambodians boast to have around 60 uses for a krama from a hat to a hammock for a baby. Some of its other uses include a towel, a bag and for use in martial arts.