Dona Miúda – which means "Ms. Tiny" – started weaving when she was 14 in the village of Mumbuca, central region of Brazil, where the population is a mix of former slaves and native Indians.
It all started over 70 years ago. Dona Miúda and her mother were picking buritis to eat; suddenly the sun lit a beautiful golden field that caught their eyes. It was golden grass, and they decided to take some to make a hat and a purse. Later they would use it to make beautiful jewelry, trays, pots, baskets, and more.
Out of habit and need, the art spread through generations to mostly all the women of the village. The artisans are unanimous in saying that Dona Miúda was the one responsible for the improvement of their lives. What used to be a struggle against hunger, today became a fight for better living conditions and sustainability. The grass can only be harvested from September through November, and when it is cut, the bundles of straw are shaken so that the seeds on their tips are spread for the following year’s harvest.
By purchasing handmade, sustainably harvested golden grass items, you are supporting this local artisan community.
Read the full story (in Portuguese) here: