Ifugao is a province in the Philippines where 2000 years ago the inhabitants created a terraced landscape to increase available terrain for rice farming. These terraces are now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As you might guess, rice farming by traditional means isn’t lucrative these days. Women who cultivate these terraces can barely raise enough rice to feed their families and often have to leave their homes to look for work in cities. Enter knitting.
The Ricefield Collective is a cooperative effort, launched by Meredith Ramirez Talusen, a graduate student at Cornell, to create self-sustaining (knitting) work, that will allow the Ifugao to continue to farm their ancestral lands, preserving their lifestyle and culture.
Meredith explains more about the collective and its goals in this charming video, made as part of the Collective’s Kickstarter project. The group is offering limited edition hats designed by friends of Ricefield (including a classic cap by Stephen West), knitted by Ifugao women, and made (tada!) out of Quince yarn. We’re honored that our yarn is knitted into, literally, the Ricefield project.
Ifugao women knitting hats (in Q yarn) with Meredith, third from the left. (In that fetching blouse.)
We’ll keep you updated on this knitting project in the Philippines. And we really, really hope you’ll visit the Ricefield Kickstarter page to learn more.