Chiang Mai, Thailand has a rich cultural history and is known for its ancient city walls and beautiful temples. Rural villages, just outside of Chiang Mai, are home to the artisans who create handmade string dolls and are part of the Kamibashi fair trade artisan group. Many of the artisans are employed making string dolls full-time and some work part-time, while also maintaining other jobs or farming for self-sufficiency. The American founders of the Kamibashi company developed a love and appreciation for Asian art while living in Japan which motivated them to work with talented artists in the developing country of Thailand. Many of the artisans have been creating string dolls for Kamibashi for almost 10 years!
[Photo credit: Kamibashi String Doll Gang]
Kamibashi artisans hand make whimsical string doll keychains in historical, artistic, sports, occupation, animal, and other-themed varieties. What's so impressive is that artisans take one single piece of string and wrap it to form recognizable figures. Accessories are then added to complete the representation. An uplifting, inspirational, or good luck corresponding message is included with each string doll.
String dolls provide great reminders to stay positive and focused on goals or to show your favorite teacher how much you appreciate their hard work and talents!