Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society (Israel/Palestine)
The Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society represents Palestinian artisans working in the occupied territories on the West Bank of the Jordan River. The Holy Land Cooperative was founded in 1981 by olive wood and mother-of-pearl artisans as a response to the deteriorating Palestinian handcrafts industry and to preserve the centuries-old craft and design traditions of the area. Focusing on opening international markets to counter the decline of local sales, the work of the Holy Land Cooperative alleviates poverty, increases employment, and strengthens the local community while preserving Palestinian handicraft traditions. The 36 members of the cooperative and additional 50 non-member workshops who work with the cooperative are located in the cities of Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and Bethlehem.
The designs and techniques used today on these hand painted ceramics come from early Palestinian and Armenian civilizations.