reWoven is a project of the Millennium Relief and Development Services and Caucasus Hope Partnership to revive and support the tradition of hand-woven carpet weaving in Georgia’s ethnic Azeri community, a practice otherwise in decline among the country’s largest ethnic minority in the country.
Its director, Ryan Smith, has previously run a rug weaving project in Azerbaijan to preserve local tradition and to create income opportunities for ethnic Lezgin women. In 2011, he moved to Georgia.
Although not all of the profit goes to the weavers directly, they do receive 50-100 percent more income than before, which has led to an increase in the number of women hand – weaving carpets. reWoven also intends not only to invest profit into the weavers, but also into their villages. A school in one village, for example, was renovated.
Onnik James Krikorian interviewed Ryan Smith in the ethnic Azeri village of Kosalar in Southern Georgia.
reWoven’s website is at http://www.rewoven.net.