Ethnic & Ethical: Shopping for world arts

Responsible shopping for world arts and crafts requires doing a little homework, but the benefits of buying handmade, environmentally friendly products and the stories of artisans whose lives have been changed are inspiring and powerful incentives.

Atop a wool rug blending the colors of the sky, the earth, and the greenery of Peru, a sueng klang, a four-stringed strumming instrument used in festivals and ceremonies in northern Thailand, rests against a teak and rattan bench made by Balinese artist Wayan Pastika (all from Cushioning the sueng is a naturally dyed kid-mohair throw from New Zealand ( The walls are adorned with a Zimbabwean potato print wall hanging, a Balinese mahogany relief panel depicting the interaction of flora and fauna, and a hibiscus and batik mask (all from Cornhusk flowers handmade in Honduras (available from and safari candles from Zimbabwe ( complete this exotic room.