ABOUT US

About Rainbow Bridge

RainbowBridge operates on a fair-trade system with indigenous communities. The intention of this market is to create economy and demand for indigenous made goods to funnel back into the indigenous communities. Proceeds from sales from RainbowBridge go directly back to indigenous communities or into the stores operating cost. Surplus will be donated to non-profits supporting these communities.

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RAINBOW WARRIORS

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to create a bridge between indigenous artisans and healers with the world.

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About Us

We have traveled all over the world from the jungles of Peru and Brazil to sub-Saharan Africa visiting and spending time with indigenous people, elders, and healers. In each of the communities, the wisdom from their cultures and how they connect with nature and spirit can be found in their art. Our curated collection is from indigenous leaders and artisans we have connected with along the way.

Rainbow bridge Artisans

On Cultural Appropriation

We here at Rainbow Bridge take things such as cultural appropriation very seriously. Throughout our time traveling the world and interacting with different spiritual circles an overwhelming problem we noticed is the misuse of different spiritual tools, illegal reproduction of indigenous designs, and people profiting off of misrepresenting other cultures. One of the reasons we began this mission was to empower the true lineage holders and wisdom carriers of certain traditions and give them a platform to raise money for their projects and families. However, it is important to acknowledge that selling indigenous-made products to non-indigenous people is an ethically complicated subject. Many of the communities that we work with have been, and still are, victims of oppression and domination by the system at large. An unfortunate reality that many of the communities we work with face is that the selling of their artisanal goods, clothes, and some herbal compounds are one of their only means of generating revenue. The revenue generated from purchases on this platform goes towards the planting of trees in the Amazon, the establishment of vital infrastructure in tribal villages, the feeding of families, and much more. It is important to acknowledge that it is an unfortunate reality that many of these communities' only means of sustaining themselves are to sell aspects of their culture to the outside world.


All of the spiritual leaders, activists, and elders we work with and have products from on this website have given permission for these items to be sold and used by non-indigenous people.


In Brazil where many of our products come from the situation is particularly grim, as Brazil offers practically 0 support to the communities and has given great power to different parties that would seek to eliminate the communities in the first place. If the communities cannot support themselves financially then they are forced to either abandon their traditional homes to try to find work in the cities or sell off parts of their reservations to groups who would seek to log or mine what little pristine rainforest is left. Furthermore, several years ago one of our founders had the privilege of being invited to the 3rd Indigenous Ayahuasca Conference. During that conference, the most well-respected leaders of 13 different tribes of the Brazilian Acre province came together to discuss issues in the misuse of their cultural products. One such discussion pertained to nonindigenous people wearing their traditional clothes and buying their products. It was agreed upon by the different tribal representatives that they saw nonindigenous people purchasing their products as a good thing, as it allowed them to have somewhat of an economy and demonstrated that their culture was something that was both beautiful and valuable. It is important to note that we do understand that there are different tribal groups who do not feel this way, and do not want their cultural items or tools in nonindigenous hands. In Brazil alone, there are estimated to be over 300 different tribes all with different languages, cultural practices, and spiritual systems. We at Rainbow Bridge are firm believers that members of a culture have the right to share it or not share it how they see fit, and we are proud to act as bridge makers for the communities who choose to share their culture.


Everything that we sell, everything that we post, is done so with the explicit permission of the leaders of the communities that we work with. Over a year ago when travel became restricted, our friends in the communities reached out to us asking us to help them sell their artisanal crafts. Until recent events, the communities’ only means of supporting themselves financially were by welcoming tourists into their villages. Due to the current situation, it is unclear when that will be able to begin again. In the meantime, we at Rainbow Bridge are proud to support our friends in the Amazon and other places during these difficult times. Lastly, we do our best to work with all the different artisans we know in the context of fair trade, and any surplus that is made goes back into supporting more communities, purchasing more goods, and continuing the mission.


If anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to us at hello.rainbowbridge@gmail.com. If need be we could provide written statements to any of the leaders we work with if anyone has any input or suggestions to address any ethical concerns. Thank you.