Umai or Umay, the goddess of fertility, is a protector of women and children. The oldest evidence of Umai is in the Orkhon script. From these it is understood that Umai was accepted as a mother and a guide. Umay lives in the blue sky and is said to bring good luck.
For this beaded collection we have been working with Tülay Çalışkan and Ferda Yılmaz from Atakum, Samsun, a city located in the BlackSea region of Turkey.
Tülay Abla (Abla in Turkish means older sister, it's used also when a woman is older than us to express respect towards her) is a teacher of handmade beaded jewellery at the Public Education Center in Atakum and Ferda Abla is one of her experienced students. Tülay Abla began beading 25 years ago and is mostly self taught. She has been interested in handmade goods and arts and crafts since an early age. Her love of beading began when she came across a diagram for beading in a newspaper and started learning by herself which eventually turned into her profession. She has supported her two daughters selling what she creates, has been a professional teacher for the last 7 years and is dedicated to educating other women. Tülay abla also teaches the craft of beading and handmade jewellery in women’s shelters in her area.
Ferda Abla is a science teacher and mother of two but beading is like meditation for her. Since a young age she has been drawn to craft including stitching, embroidery and knitting. Ferda Abla has been learning beading from and working with Tülay Abla and together they have collaborated with Cleopatra’s Bling and are excited to be supporting charity in Turkey. Tülay Abla and Ferda Abla value the process of handmade products and have been dreaming of sharing their craft internationally.
Tülay Abla says that the best part of her job is to see someone enjoy what she has created with her hands .
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