Artisan: Marya Seddiqi- Handmade products from Afghanistan
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Wooden designs combining traditional, symmetrical Nuristani patterns with contemporary, modern looks.
Marya Seddiqi was born in 1970 in Parwan Province in Central Afghanistan. Though only 15% of Afghan women are literate, Marya graduated from secondary school. She is now a carver (typically, in Afghanistan, this is a very male-dominated trade) specializing in beautiful Nuristani patterns – a very distinct carving technique from North East Afghanistan. Marya was married, but her husband died several years ago leaving her to raise and support her eight children (five girls and three boys) on her own. She had never carved before, but heard there were opportunities at a local factory. There, she trained as an apprentice for some time, eventually finding her way to Turquoise Mountain, where she has now worked for five years. One of her daughters is now a student at the Turquoise Mountain Institute, also studying carving.
“My family likes keeping up traditions, and they wanted me to revive traditional craftsmanship. Through the beauty of my work I can feed my family and support my community.”

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