Subanen Crafts is a non-profit organisation under the Columban Fathers. Every year, during the Christmas season, we promote the Christmas Cards crafted by Subanen artists. The subject matter of these cards connects to their experiences with the experiences of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.
Here is what Mercy B. Gawason, Subanen Craft's Operations Manager has to say about this year's theme.
"We Subanens have lived for centuries in harmony with the forests and mountains of our habitat in the Southern Philippines. Every year we craft handmade cards that tell the Christmas story in images that show Joseph and Mary helping each other while caring for Jesus. This year our cards recall how Joseph and Mary fled into the desert to escape Herod's soldiers. Like Mary and Joseph, we too have had to abandon our homes and farms and flee during times of armed conflict. We know the fears and the joys that Mary and Joseph experienced that first Christmas. And, like them, we struggle daily to protect and care for our families. Sales of our cards help us provide food, education, housing, and healthcare for our families, and help us care for our habitat."
The Subanens are an indigenous people who live in the forested mountains of the Zamboanga peninsula in the Philippines. For decades their community experienced many strifes including land-hungry settlers pushing the shy Subanens deeper into the forest, armed conflicts between government and anti-government forces and mining companies want to bulldoze their remaining habitat.
Columban Sisters started the Subanen Ministry. For over 30 years the Sisters have worked with Subanen elders and leaders to find healthy and sustainable ways to protect, nurture, and celebrate the Subanen culture and their endangered habitat. In 2001, with the help of the Subanen Ministry, Fr Vincent Busch who has been a missionary in the Philippines since 1974, began working with Subanens to form a livelihood project in which they could use of their traditional crafting skills to make saleable jewellery, mandalas, children’s books, and cards. Income from the Subanen Craft project helps the Subanen artists provide food, education, housing, and healthcare for their families. This income is especially useful during the “hunger season” which is the lean time between harvests.
Subanen Christmas Cards 2018 Images
- Buy the Subanen Christmas Cards 2018