Galería Namu does not use lightly the terms fair trade art or fair trade gifts in the marketing of their endeavors. Over twelve years ago the gallery not only opened its doors to the public, but also created a portal for a fair trade retail outlet for artists in Costa Rica by paying for their art and craft items upon delivery at a fair price. Galería Namu continues to work closely with many of those original artists and budding artists over the years, encouraging and helping to expand their craft with suggestions and feedback.
Almost from its beginning, owners Aisling French and her son Conall, decided to offer not only local Folk Arts but also to include the traditional arts and crafts of the eight indigenous tribes in Costa Rica. The response from Galería Namu patrons was overwhelmingly favorable and soon the art and crafts of indigenous people expanded to include those of neighboring Central American countries Panama and Honduras.
The adventurous entrepreneurs discovered a treasure trove of traditional art within the indigenous tribes. In Costa Rica’s southern zone, for example, traditional used ceremonial masks carved from local wood, often adorned with dyes, paint, or feathers are worn during the Brunka’s annual Dance of the Little Devils; this event, and the masks created for it, hold a long and emotionally charged history. The masks, created anew each year, have become sought after by mask collectors around the world. Galería Namu attends the event every year, offering fair trade prices for the used ceremonial masks to their respective makers.
Further south still, in Panama, the Wounaan tribe well known internationally for their exquisite baskets and carved tagua sculptures and jewelry, have found a fair trade opportunity in their liaison with Galería Namu. Only the finest of baskets and sculptures are offered in the gallery thanks to the special relationship and trust the artists enjoy with the gallery’s fair trade philosophy.
Your purchase from either the gallery in Costa Rica or from here, their online store, helps not only preserve traditional arts and crafts but also encourages sustainable business opportunities via fair trade practice for artisans and indigenous peoples throughout Central America. As the only Fair Trade art establishment in Costa Rica, Galería Namu has significantly improved the quality of life and self-esteem of the participating artists and as such, the much appreciated relationship ensures consistent art of the highest quality.