⟨ Craft ⟩

Beyond Traditions

Kamaro'an

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Photography / Courtesy of Kamaro'an
Translation / Fanny Chan

早在Obscura Vol.22時,我們就遠赴過台灣花蓮,拜訪這個獨具匠心的品牌Kamaro’an。以花蓮的阿美族部落為基地,品牌從原材料的種植和加工,再由畫圖設計到拍板生產,通通都在這個古樸的聚落中進行。品牌的商品包括傢俱、包袋和小物,大量利用原住民的部落工藝,就像是裸色植鞣皮革,運用上藤編技巧的「Weaving」系列般;而雖然借鑑自傳統,但他們倒不拘泥於部落風格,反而善於解構古老的工藝,帶來符合現代美學。

Back in Obscura Vol.22, we wrote about Kamaro’an from Taiwan. Years later, we revisited this unique brand, and once again, they amazed us with their authentic designs and sophisticated craftsmanship. Based in a quaint settlement of the Amis tribe in Hualien, Kamaro’an offers a wide range of merchandise including furniture, bags and small items, with its entire production line taking place in the settlement — from planting and processing of raw materials to product design and production. Kamaro’an’s designs are deeply inspired by Taiwanese indigenous culture. This can be seen in their use of vegetable tanned leather and the adoption of rattan weaving in producing their “Weaving” series. Although they take inspiration from their tribal traditions, they are not in any sense confined or restricted by them. Kamaro’an creates their own modern aesthetics via traditional craftsmanship.

Kamaro’an前陣子剛發佈了2020的秋冬系列,以「On the road」為主題,一口氣釋出多樣新品,我們特意挑選幾款令我們著迷的商品,並細說品項的靈感和細節。首先一定要提的,是他們這一季的點題作「編織竹筒包」,其靈感來自阿美族的「Tayhaw」,是阿美族在山野間捕獵和採摘時用的水壺,以竹筒為器皿,再用籐皮編織水壺的手把。「編織竹筒包」則以皮革取代竹筒,保留著「Tayhaw」極簡和光滑的圓筒型輪廓,以及背帶和手把的編織功藝;中間剖開以作為單一收納空間,其可觀的收納量,換來一種美式圓筒Duffle bag的變奏感。

Kamaro’an has recently released their 2020 autumn/winter collection, “On the road” and there are a few items in particular that caught our attention. To begin with, a round of applause goes to the woven bamboo bag which takes inspiration from “Tayhaw,” a bamboo water bottle with rattan woven handles that the Amis people use to carry water when they go hunting in the mountains. While the woven bamboo bag retains most of the prominent features found on a “Tayhaw” which includes woven handles and straps as well as a simple and smooth cylindrical body, they’ve upgraded the body to leather instead of bamboo and added a flip opening. Although there is only one compartment in this modern version of “Tayhaw,” you won’t be short on space as it has the storage capacity of the classic American duffle bag.

再來這一款「編織相機包」,其參考的原型令人意想不到,居然是一款阿美族的便當盒。「Kopid」是阿美族的多用途置物盒,以藤皮繞纏成形,而普遍會用來放米食,以作為外出或在田工作時的便當盒,而當然地也會放狩獵工具等物品。同樣以皮革取代藤器,「編織相機包」最好玩的地方是它特殊的蓋子結構,取物時把皮蓋上下拉開,把雜物扔進去後的感覺實在而滿足。

Another featured product from the “On the go” collection is the woven camera pouch. You will be surprised to learn that the pouch actually originated from “Kopid,” a multi-purpose rattan basket that is used by the Amis to carry lunch and hunting tools when going out and working in the field. The modern version of “Kopid” uses leather instead of woven rattan, and its most interesting feature should be the lid-and-bottom structure that allows you to pull the lid and bottom apart to put your valuables inside.

最後是這款「編織手拿包」,因為阿美族的族服沒有口袋,外出時都會用麻製的佩袋「alofo」來貯物(「alofo」並非唯一稱呼,也有「lofoc」、「tufot」等名稱),也被稱為「情人袋」和「檳榔袋」。「編織手拿包」沿用上「alofo」的對稱結構,保持手拿包的一體成型,可當作一般長型皮夾,收納鈔票和銀行卡之餘,也可以把護照,車票和收據通通塞進去;除了在旅行的情景中使用,也適合平常不願意提包出門,希望用一個皮夾包辦一切的人。

Last but not least, here comes the woven passport wallet. Because the Amis people have no pocket on their clothes, they usually carry with them a linen bag called “alofo.” “Alofo” is sometimes referred to as “lofoc” or “tufot” and is also nicknamed “lover bag” and “betel nut bag.” Inspired by the design of “alofo,” the woven passport wallet has a symmetrical structure and is sized to fit cash, cards, passport, tickets, and invoices. The perfect shape and size makes it ideal to be used as a clutch or a bifold long wallet. For those who are looking for a multi-purpose bag for travelling, and also for those who love to keep things simple when out and about, this modern “alofo” is the perfect choice for them.