Giving Hands Makikuna 

MAKIKUNA was created by Ana Cristina Silva in 2018 with a clear vision of promoting cultural awareness of Ecuadorian Artisans through the modern reinterpretation of their craftsmanship.
With ethical and sustainability thoughts at its core, the brand promises to create beautiful and contemporary accessories that tell the story of the makers and their culture. We are committed to follow fair trade and direct trade principles to encourage the protection of the intangible cultural knowledge of communities in Ecuador.

Offering contemporary designs we use natural fibers and sustainable materials ensuring the good quality of our products in every step. With each season we look to curate the most unique pieces of panama hats, knitwear from the finest merino wool, silver and gold pleated jewellery, scarfsbags and more unique products all sourced from different parts of Ecuador and the Andes region.

We believe in:

Responsibility with people we work with and environment
Preservation of cultural heritage as the foundation for a long-lasting legacy of culture and skills
Cultural diversity as a mean for inspiration and promotion of culture
Being real with our commitment to be transparent and accountable to our selfs and our consumers.

The brand is currently working with more than 10 families of artisans, supporting them to create more opportunities for there families and their communities. With a clear mission, MAKIKUNA wants to build a community of artisans and people that admire handcraft, skills and believe in supporting communities of artisans to grow and endure in time.

"I saw great potential on the skills of Ecuadorian Artisans when I traveled through my Country as a child and since then I felt a calling If you could say, to promote their skills to the world. Futures generations don't feel that there is hope in the commercial craft of our cultural objects and that is causing the loss of a part of our history and traditions. Some of them feel a calling because they have seen their parents or grandparents create countless objects but their future becomes blurry and shorten by low income and a society that looks to bargain their handmade products. That is why I have dedicated countless trips to know them, their interests, hopes, and dreams so that one day I could say to them: Maria! your bags are been sold all around the world and they are carrying your name! "
Founder Ana Cristina Silva moved to London in 2017 to study at the Msc Fashion Business Creation program at GCU London. With her textile design background she started to contact artisans in 2018 to curated a selection of the most meaningful and representative Ecuadorian Crafts after she saw the interest of other people in her culture.

What does MAKIKUNA mean?

The name MAKIKUNA comes from the Kichwa language spoken by most of the indigenous people in the Andes and especially for the ones in the Highland region of Ecuador. Most of them are descendants from the Incas, the most extensive and important empire before the Spanish colonization in South America.

MAKI means "hand" and KUNA "give". But this is not the only meaning or interpretation of the word. The word MAKIKUNA itself has many meanings because the Kichwa language has adapted accordingly to each indigenous community. For some of them means "hands that work together" and for other "hands that give or giving hands". We chose this last meaning as our Motto, we what to show to the world that our products are more than objects or fashionable items, we what to tell you that when you are buying handmade products you are getting much more than an object.
You are buying days, weeks and months of successes, trails, experiments,  and sometimes failures. You are receiving in return more that an object, you are getting above all a bit of someone's heart.  
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