Subanen Crafts
"Joseph's Christmas" Book
This book shows how Joseph might have cared for Jesus and Mary by doing many of the simple, practical things that the the Subanens do daily in their mountain habitat.  The book begins with Joseph sweeping the stable and preparing the manger, then he carried in water, gathered firewood, made a fire, and cooked some food for Mary.  Finally, he watched over Jesus as Mary rested.  When the shepherds arrived he fed them as well.  Each book took two days to carefully inlay 14 pages of images and then to handbind.  The book honors Joseph and the culture of the Subanen people.  
Price: $10.00 plus postage
"Joseph's Christmas" is a beautiful gift for both children and adults.
New 2013 Christmas Cards: "God is with us"
This year the Subanen artists have carefully hand cut and inlaid ten Christmas cards that celebrate the Word becoming flesh within the miracle of God’s Creation. Creation begins with the words, “Let there be light”.   And so each Christmas card features rays of light one of which becomes a biblical scroll whose words affirm the life-giving presence of God throughout the history of creation until, in the fullness of time, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  From the first card which proclaims Jesus as the "Firstborn of all Creation" to the last card which shows Jesus in His Earthly manger these colorful cards announce tidings of great joy - "God is with us".
Light flares forth from the child in the manger signaling the birth of creation in which He is the firstborn.  A biblical scroll unfolds from one ray of light.  From the very beginning of the universe God graces the story of creation.  
This card has a representation of a spiral galaxy within the unfolding scroll.   The elements that would eventually become part of our bodies were forged inside the stars.  As stardust come to life we can give voice to the stars and "proclaim the glory of the Lord."
The scroll in this card has a image of the blue-green Earth showing parts Africa and the Americas.  The Earth has just the right size and is at just the right distance from the sun support life.  Jesus is the light of the world - our Earth and our home. 
In this card the last leaf on an old tree is about to touch a sprouting seeding. It is reminiscent of the finger of God about to touch Adam in Michelangelo's painting.  The rainbow recalls the rainbow covenant (Genesis chapter 9) which proclaims God's care for all living things. 
The people in this card are dressed in the colors of creation.  The history of creation is our history.  We live on a planet that formed in a solar system that spins in a galaxy that occupies a universe that flared forth from the Word of God.
This card marks a transition.  The Lord of Creation has entered history in the flesh.  The child in the manger that shone forth in the previous cards is now with Mary who is being guided by Joseph to the distant stable.  The biblical scroll now unfolds from the star of Bethlehem.
In 1223 St Francis asked the people of his town to make a manger scene outside in the winter air.  He explained, "I wish to remember the little child and the hardships of his infant needs."   The Subanens, like the visiting shepherds, live close to both the bounty and the hardships of nature.  Keeping the natural world in good repair enhances its bounty for the Subanens and for all people.  
Possibly the most quoted passage in the bible is John 3:16, "God so loved the world that He gave his only Son."  Caring for the world keeps alive God's bountiful planet whose healthy ecosystems give food  the hungry and drink to the thirsty.  In this card Mary gives her Son to the world where he will live and die for the life of the world.
This final card has the Child Jesus resting in a manger within the Earth. The firstborn of all creation is now living with us. 

The Subanen artists took hours to carefully cut and inlaid the images in these 10 cards.  Each set is a work of art.  You might need to get an extra set to frame. 
The 3 wise men worshiped Jesus and presented him with gifts.  Christians worship and bring offerings to Jesus in churches but all our churches exist within the catherdral of creation which is the source of all gifts.  The Subanens do not have expensive gifts to give but do have a profound relationship with the source of life - their habitat - and the giver of that source - their God.
Price: A set of 10 "God is with us" Christmas Cards is $12.00 plus postage.
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