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Saturday, May 16, 2016 was the first day Woven In Exile participated in the outdoor market.   It was a beautiful day and everyone was smiling. 
Aus Maya weaving at Kent Farmer's Market     WiE at Kent Farmer's Market
Aus Maya and Mon Maya     Bersha
Bersha is weaving on a frame loom at the Global Ties program at the Akron-Summit Public Library on May 14, 2016.  We forgot our sign that day, but Bersha solved the problem with pen and paper. 

Bersha at Global Ties
Woven In Exile was among 58 Makers who participated in the Akron-Summit County Public Library's Mini Manker Faire on September 19, 2015.  The official attendance record indicated that 1342 people took part in the four hours of the faire.  Below M. L. Schultze from WKSU NPR is seen interviewing Bersha Ghimirey about her experience as a refugee and how she got to Akron, Ohio.  Schultze, Web editor and reporter, is interviewing Bersha Ghimirey as part of the series she was preparing to air on WKSU and National Public Radio about Bhutanese refugees and their lives.   Ash Maya Subba is demonstrating how weaving is done on a backstrap loom. 
L to R: M. L. Schultze, Ash Maya Subba, Bersha Ghimirey
Woven In Exile weavers were invited to share their expertise and experience in the Mini Maker Faire at the Main Library of the Akron-Summit County Pubic Library in downtown Akron on Saturday, October 18, 2014. Two weavers, Mon Maya Rai and Sabitra Rizal demonstrated back-strap weaving during the Faire while Nirmala, Kailash, and Bersha Ghimirey interpreted for onlookers who wanted to ask questions of the weavers.

Everyone was pleased the next morning to see a picture in the Akron Beacon Journal featuring Sabitra Rizal demonstrating backstrap weaving. 
Sabitra at Makers Faire

At the invitation of Liz and Terry Kuhn, 57 Bhutan/Nepalese refugee weavers, drivers, and interpreters met at their home on March 7, 2010 to discuss the weavers' needs for looms and yarn in order to once again take up their traditional weaving activity.  Liz, a long-time weaver, began by discovering the type of loom these women used in the refugee camps.  She and Terry first thought that it would have required a frame loom or a table loom to fit in small apartments.  However, at the meeting pictured on the left below, it became obvious that the backstrap loom was the preferred type.

The center picture above shows a backstrap loom.  These ancient devices use two sticks or dowels between which warp threads are stretched.  One dowel is attached to a fixed object like a tree or brackets, and the other dowel is attached to a strap around the back of the weaver.  The weaver's body position is used to adjust the tension on the warps.  Smaller dowels are used to separate warps and guide the wefts. 

In the picture on the right, Liz (standing) is talking with the weavers about warping techniques.  Sitting next to her is Nilam, who serves as interpreter for the learning sessions. 

Both simple and complex textiles can be woven on backstrap looms.  The width of the fabric is limited to how far the weaver can reach from side to side to pass the shuttle.  Typical weavings include belts, ponchos, bags, hatbands and carrying cloths. 
On August 31, 2010, Deb Solan (Speaker and Executive Director of the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation), Nilam Ghimirey (Speaker and Interpreter), Bishnu Ghimirey (Weaver), Kumari Mishra (Weaver), Liz Kuhn (Speaker), and Terry Kuhn (Speaker) presented a program on "Weaving in Exile" for the Kent Rotary Club.

In the picture above/right, Nilam is responding to questions from the members of the Kent Rotary Club about her life in the refugee camp in Nepal. 

Liz Kuhn, Terry Kuhn, Nilam Ghimirey, and Madhav Bhatta represented the Bhutanese refugee weavers at the Kent Farmer's Market on 9/18/2010 and 10/9/2010. Bags were spread on tables by the "Woven In Exile" sign.  Madhav, Nilam, and Liz are to the left of the light pole. Madhav explains "Woven In Exile" to shoppers while Nilam and Liz work on a backstrap loom. 

Nilam and Liz have a table of weavings they are offering for sale at the Kent Winter Market on Saturday, December 11 and 12, 2010. Here they are at the Trinity Lutheran Church Craft Fair on Sunday, December 13, 2010.  The coat and sweater were needed as the room was quite cool. 



As of April 26, 2011, 11 weavers had created 310 handwoven articles of which 122 had been sold through efforts such as those pictured above, consignment stores, and the "WoveninExile.com" web site.   Pictured on the left are bags ready to be listed on the website.

Amber Subba, President of the Bhutanese Community of Akron, is standing at the "Woven in Exile" display he took to the  2011 National Consultation for Refugee Resettlement in Washington DC on August 1 and 2.  Not only did he sell several bags for our weavers, but he also helped spread the word about our website.  We appreciate his efforts on our behalf.  Thank you Amber, Tiffany, and Sham Rai!


On June 12, 2012 Marty and Chet Martin invited the Bhutanese Refugee Weavers and the Ladies  Group to their home on Brady Lake where everyone brought some food for a pot-luck dinner.

Sabitra, Marilyn, Padma, Bishnu, Linda, Pabitra, Chandra, Judy, Liz, Marty

Kirt Martin took everyone for a ride on the Martin's pontoon boat.
Here are a few photos from the outing. 

Marty and Liz


Kirt and Judy

Liz, Bishnu, Padma, Chandra
Sabitra, Pabitra, Nilam

Liz, Linda, Judy, Marilyn

Nilam, Bishnu, Terry, Padma, Liz
Pabitra, Chandra, Sabitra
The weavers met with Liz and Nilam
on January 18, 2014, in Mon Maya's

house.  Here they are examining
a weaving to ensure the very
best quality is achieved.
Holiday Market
Nilam and Liz sold bags at the Kent Holiday Market on December 7 and 14, 2013
Many people came by to watch
Sabritra and Mon Maya
demonstrate the backstrap
loom technique.
October 18, 2014
Kailash, Nirmala, and Bersha
Ghimirey assisted at the Mini Maker
Faire by interpreting between
weavers and onlookers.
October 18, 2014
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