Welcome to our global maker-to-market movement where, together with 20,000 artisans, we ignite social change. We create opportunities for individuals, families, and communities in developing countries to thrive through strong relationships, fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices.
An olive wood nativity playing "Silent Night" was carved nearby in Beit Sahour. Near Bethlehem, where angels heralded Jesus'; birth, Raja Bannoura and his family hand-carve nativities from pruned olive branches. Since Raja started the workshop in 1974, olive wood nativities, ornaments and carvings have provided hope and harmony as neighbors have worked together creating beautifully carved figures in a community unsettled by civil violence. The music box is hidden in the roof of the stable. Wind the star to hear the melody.
Raja Bannoura Workshop, based in Beit Sahour, a village on the east side of Bethlehem, produces hand-carved olive wood products. Bannoura coordinates orders for many olive wood carvers and workshops in Beit Sahour. He collects pruned olive branches and wood, stacks them in his yard, and dries them for six to nine months before cutting the wood for use. Laminating many small rectangular pieces together makes the larger flat pieces for nativities. Using small pieces of wood ensures that olive trees are not cut down for carving purposes. Raja Bannoura began working with olive wood in his family workshop in Beit Sahour in 1974. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Raja Bannoura since 1978.