Since the 1970’s, the local crafts industry has faced continuous decline with the mechanisation of fishing boats and the emergence of tourism, which brought with it alternative employment opportunities. Today, local crafts are confined of vendibility in a tourism market which is increasingly being flooded with imported souvenirs and crafts from East Asia . This limited access to authentic Maldivian handicrafts in the tourism market results ...
When travelling abroad most visitors are sometimes not sure whether a local souvenir is actually local at all. Souvenir shops on the capital Malé, and several other islands, carry a mix of locally made handicrafts and overseas imports. They might feature a ‘Made in Maldives’ tag but often times this may not be the case.
There are several authentically Maldivian art forms. And one can produce a multitude of handicrafts and souvenirs within just one category. As an example, lacquer work can produce jewelry boxes, vases and, in the more modern times, has been adapted to produced custom ash trays and other functional, as well as ornamental, objects. Other art forms present their endless possibilities.
Throughout the ages the talents, and creativity, of the Maldivian artists have remained. What has changed is the medium through which they most abundantly expressed themselves. While the times has made it more challenging for the artists to practice some art forms ,such as stone and wood carving, they continue to use the skill – refining, and sometimes even reinventing, the medium through which they express themselves.