Bringing together some 170 artisans (more than half of them women) from 52 countries, the market unfolds on Santa Fe's Museum Hill, amid panoramic views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Prices range from $5 into the tens of thousands, with 90 percent of the proceeds going home with the artists. The work includes exquisite embroidered bedspreads and shawls from India (by the all-women collective Self Help Enterprise), silk-and-cotton rugs and wall hangings made in Laos according to 1,200-year-old traditions, and stunning baskets woven and dyed with organic materials—like leaves, berries, and herbs—from the Darien Rainforest in Panama.
"Right now there's a hunger in our culture to move away from the mass-produced and toward the handmade, to feel that sense of connection to the things around us," says Charlene Cerny, executive director of the market. "Knowing the story behind the object is like having the bragging rights to it." If you can't get to Santa Fe go to FolkArtMarket.org to browse the handicrafts available for order online. — Jessica Winter