Mari Balls 2020
A ball is the most ubiquitous and timeless toy, and this is especially true for the Japanese Mari Ball. These embroidered toys were once rolled around on the ground and tossed in the air by young children, but today they are symbols of friendship and loyalty, a treasured art form and one of Japan's most revered folk crafts. Made in Okayama, the Mari Ball is quickly becoming an endangered craft as the group of skilled, elderly crafts-women behind these unique objects slowly dwindle. The Mari Ball's intricate designs reflect a desire for the recipient to have a brilliantly happy life, and require hours of hand threading traditional vegetable-dyed fibers. We wish for the continued happy life of these iconic symbols of Japanese craftsmanship!
As handmade objects, the variations in each Mari Ball reflects the creativity and mastery of their creators. While every Mari Ball is unique, the Mari Ball you select in the shown image is the one you will receive.
Mari means 'ball' in Japanese, and these traditional folk object were first created in 7th century AD primarily for the Japanese upper class and aristocracy. Today, there are only a few craftspeople that continue to make Mari Balls in the traditional way, so many consider it a dying craft. Our Mari Balls are made by a small group of women in Okayama Japan (all in their 60s - 80s) who strive to carry on this traditional craft for the next generation.
3'' Diameter sphere
6'' Looped thread for hanging
Cotton and rice chaf core
Not meant for washing