Some Background on these Ankers. Please read . . .
We believe giving back is not just about donating money to worthy charities. We've made efforts to discover suppliers that can provide us with more than just goods. For example, we partnered with the Morca (Colombia) Coal Project for our Coal Ankers.
The community of Morca lies in the mountainous area of Sogamoso, Colombia depending heavily on coal mining for employment and income. Coal mining is dangerous with casualties and deaths being unfortunately common in these mines because of collapses and poisonous gases. The men and boys responsible for supporting large families are often the victims of these unforgiving mines and unsafe working conditions.
In 1995, the Colombian government established the Morca-Boyaca workshop to keep young men and boys out of these hazardous mines. Local children were encouraged to attend school and learn the craft of carving coal into beautiful pieces of jewelry. The Morca-Boyaca project aims at being able to eradicate child labor in the mines and provide these young boys with a better and healthier source of living.
After hearing about the project, pranga & co CEO, Daniel Feuer visited the project in March 2017 (see our blog post) while in Colombia to see their work. In addition to the artisans work for ankers, pranga & co has donated additional equipment. The tools being used were very basic and the carvings were done using old repurposed cobbler's knives. New tools specific to stone carving were purchased along with Dremels, safety goggles and sand paper and shipped to the project.
Made from coal, yes coal, and no they won''t make your shirt black. You'll notice that there are two different symbols from the pre-Colombian culture of Muisca who had settled in the area known as Boyaca departments between 5500 and 1000 BCE.
Here's a bit more about the symbols you see on the ankers:
This is the Sun, a symbol of power and energy. The crosshatched lines within the triangles are representing the planting and sowing of fields.
The Spirals - Are a symbol of creation and evolution of the universe and represent time and movement. You'll notice that they rotate counter-clockwise representing the long sun of Summer.
The Waves - Are presented in the water, blown by the wind. This represents life and growth.
The Triangles - Are a symbol of the mountains of Mother Earth.
While coal is a fragile and soft mineral, these ankers are somewhat resilient. They've survived being dropped on a linoleum floor from 5 feet up and the same for being dropped on concrete. Not the most sophisticated QC, but closest to real world scenarios.
Each of these ankers is 100% unique and there will be some slight variances between the two.