Pick-N-Mix explained and why we are so into craft & creativity

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HIITU means “feather” in Caddo, the language of the Skidi Pawnee - Native Americans originating from Nebraska. Our maternal roots derive from this tribe and it’s this heritage that inspired the formation of HIITU and its pursuit of synergy among humans as well as between humans and nature through craft and creativity. The word „feather" carries many strong symbolic meanings. For example, thoughts, intuition and fantasies are often described as feathers, that can be captured and spread through the breath of inspiration. Feathers form wings which enable us to transcend into higher spiritual spheres and reach creative heights. 
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Feather on the ground / Totem pole at our uncles house in Switzerland showing an eagle with big wings.
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Thanks to our ability to think creatively we are able to invent and make, have a vision and turn it into reality. That’s what makes humankind unique. The most practical application of this inner creativity can be studied in the handicraft traditions of the many cultures on this planet. It is deeply rooted in our intuition to always think further – optimise and ornament. It is however not only for practical and aesthetic reasons that we have turned to handcraft to fill our time - there are many more benefits for our body, mind and soul, which could be why it has always been such an important part of our culture just like dance and music has! 
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Maasai ladies at work in their community / Maasai men dancing their traditional dance with Rosalie.
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Recently, research is seeking to better understand just how craft is so beneficial for the body and mind. Interestingly, much of the focus has been on the mental health and well-being brought about by knitting. A large-scale international online survey of knitters found a wide range of psychological benefits from the practice: relaxation, relief from stress, a sense of accomplishment, connection to tradition, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, enhanced confidence, as well as cognitive abilities such as an improved memory and concentration and a better ability to think through problems. They also found that it connects people and brings a sense of camaraderie by practicing the craft. While it can be a solitary activity, it also helps to bring people together to exchange ideas and techniques and more.*
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Lady in meditative state painting ceramic beads at our workshop in Nairobi.
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These benefits were already acknowledged back during World War II. Many of the hospitals tending the wounded during and after the War provided bright, clean, quiet environments where the men could perform meditative, transformative work that was essential to their rehabilitation from their physical and mental wounds. What we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder was treated with activities such as embroidery. It was widely used as a form of therapy for soldiers wounded in the war - challenging the gendered construct of embroidery being “women’s work”, which was common throughout the 19th century.**
Also, C.G. Jung was aware of the therapeutic effects of working creatively. He regularly applied drawing therapy with his patients through mandalas. In his opinion, drawing with circular shapes is a concrete invitation to listen to our being, rediscover inner-harmony and supports inner growth. He used the mandala technique to help his patients to listen to their inner voice in order to reach a higher level of consciousness. 
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C.G. Jung pointing at a traditional mandala.
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We find these some very exciting facts, especially in our time where people are often overwhelmed by the 24/7 demands of the digital world, disconnected from their inner wisdom and missing a healthy work-life balance. Why don’t we all make use of this opportunity to lessen our stress levels, create something beautiful with our own hands and stimulate our creative mind? 
So, this is why we believe handcrafts are important and that the world would be a happier place if we all made use of our hands and creativity a bit more. It will awaken our ability to think outside the box and approach life with more openness and curiosity. Sadly, artisanship is becoming less and less, so that the handcraft traditions of many cultures are dying out. Here HIITU comes in. We travel the world to find the most skilled craftsmen and -women and together we develop small unique collections that infuse the roots of their creative craftsmanship  with our own design ideas. We want to encourage to bring these traditions into a new context and adapt them to our contemporary needs. With this, we also strive to enhance connectedness on an intercultural level. Come join our mission and get creative!

 

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In this little video Rosalie explains how our Pick-N-Mix Choker works:

●  ● SHOP PICK-N-MIX COLLECTION ●  ●

*Find out more in this interesting article.
**This topic is further explored in this article.

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