Immersing in the cultural richness of the Maldives isn’t complete without bringing home a piece of its traditional handicrafts, each telling a story of the island nation’s heritage and craftsmanship. While the Maldives is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, its artisanal treasures are equally captivating. Here’s where you can find authentic Maldivian handicrafts to cherish:

Local Markets

Stroll through the bustling markets of Male, the capital city, where you’ll discover an array of traditional handicrafts crafted by skilled artisans. Visit Male’s main market, Male Local Market, and browse through stalls selling handmade items such as woven mats (thudu kuna), lacquerware, wooden carvings, and intricate beadwork jewellery. You can easily visit here from your best Maldives All Inclusive resorts, as they offer easy transport to and from the main island of Male such as OBLU XPErience Ailafushi.

Island Workshops

Explore the smaller islands of the Maldives, where local artisans preserve age-old traditions by crafting exquisite handicrafts in their workshops. Many island communities specialize in specific crafts, such as weaving coconut palm leaves into intricate designs or carving intricate patterns on wooden objects. Take a guided tour or simply wander through the villages to witness these artisans at work and purchase their creations directly.

Artisanal Villages

Visit artisanal villages scattered across the Maldives, where entire communities are dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional craftsmanship. One such village is Himmafushi, known for its skilled artisans who craft beautiful lacquerware, wooden dhonis (traditional boats), and intricate coir rope products. Engage with the locals, learn about their craft techniques, and acquire authentic souvenirs to take home.

Resort Boutiques

Many upscale resorts in the Maldives feature boutiques and gift shops that showcase locally-made handicrafts alongside international luxury brands. These boutiques often collaborate with local artisans and cooperatives to promote sustainable tourism and support community development initiatives. Browse through their curated collections to find unique handcrafted items that reflect the Maldivian culture and traditions.

Maldivian Craft Centers

Image via Wikimedia Commons – Donna, Laquer-finished, CC0 1.0

Discover Maldivian craft centres and cultural hubs dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional handicrafts. These centres often host workshops, exhibitions, and demonstrations where visitors can learn about different craft techniques and even try their hand at creating their own masterpieces. Take the opportunity to engage with local artisans, gain insight into their creative process, and purchase authentic handicrafts directly from the source.