The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and a local foundation co-launched an online platform on Wednesday to help advertise handicrafts made by Aboriginal women and young adults in eastern Taiwan.
The Chinese-language Web site “Art Alliance” was initiated by the AIT and the Taipei-based Alliance Cultural Foundation. It features several pages promoting the businesses of people living in remote areas and showcases products from 26 workshops and two high schools in Hualien and Taitung counties. Products on show include handbags, fabric, pottery, furniture and accessories featuring Aboriginal designs.
“With the Internet, small businesses can reach customers that they could never have reached before,” AIT director Christopher Marut said at the Web site’s launch ceremony.
Adding that the Internet can help create many possibilities, Marut said: “We decided to join with the Alliance Cultural Foundation to help disadvantaged women and young people expand their small businesses by using Internet tools and social media.”
Foundation chairman Stanley Yen (嚴長壽) said he hopes the Web site can promote the richness of the art and culture of eastern Taiwan internationally. To aid this process, the Web site is soon to be made available in English, the foundation said.
Kuthkuth Maljaljaves, a member of the Paiwan people who was representing a workshop in Taitung County that sells items made by women from the Paiwan, Puyuma and Amis communities, said the Web site will make it easier to promote products made by women living in remote communities.