Have Ewe Any Wool?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

American Folklife Festival - Sheep Poo Paper

I managed to pick up a few items at the American Folk Life Marketplace - there are always interesting items to be had. Luckily, I was smart enough to shop early...before all the crowds descended on the mall. By the time I left for the day, there was a rather long line of people waiting to get inside to shop (click on the photo for a peek at the line)! Late in the day, it gets very crowded and once the shopping is done, then the checkout line is long as well. The only downside to my early shopping was that I had to carry my purchases around with me the rest of the day.

I bought a couple of place mats (Wales), a couple of recipe books, recycled glass bracelets and some handcrafted figurines from Africa, and some "Sheep Poo" cards. Yes, I really did say "Sheep Poo". According to the back of the card, sheep poo actually contains approximately 50% of the fiber the sheep ingests...and it's reusable. The "brave souls" that made this paper basically "reclaim" the fiber, sterilize it, and "recycle" it into paper products - cards, wrapping paper, etc. I must admit that I'm finding this to be the most unusual item that I found at the festival. (Keep in mind that up in Maine, they sell "moose poo" earrings....and several garden stores sell "Poo Pets" - little statuettes for your garden containing sterilized poo that will automatically "fertilize" your garden. I guess it's only "natural" that someone would create "Poo Paper"!

The 4 African figurines were quite interesting. Two of these figurines have a handy "hanging loop" made of raffia making them the perfect addition for my Christmas tree. These figurines represent rural African Village Women performing typical chores - one is carrying a basket and one a bundle of sticks. Both figurines were handcrafted in Kenya and are comprised of all natural fibers which include banana, sisal, and raffia. The second set of figurines were also handcrafted and are Spirit dolls from Kenya and Ghana. The combination of raffia with other materials represents things that are good....and as such, both are a type of good luck charm. I thought both were darling...and everyone can use a little good luck, right?


  • At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I so enjoy reading about all your excursions. Who knew about sheep poo.

  • At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  • At 6:49 AM, Blogger Jinann said…

    Thanks! I'm a bit behind in all the posts about the Folk Life Festival, but I'm trying!


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