by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez, Christine Franquemont, Joe Coca (Photographs)
In this revealing cultural study, dozens of ancient weavers and the landscapes that they occupy in the Cusco region of the Andes are vividly portrayed through personal stories and life experiences, bringing to life the decades of endurance, skill, fortitude, and natural pride honed from the time-honored traditions of the region and its people. Some of the storytellers featured here include Pitumarca’s Timoteo Ccarita, who became so interested in the old textiles he found on his own travels that he re-created tapestry techniques from sight; Leonardo Quispe, who single-handedly rescued and revived the techniques of ikat-style tied-warp dyeing (watay) in his community of Santa Cruz de Sallac; and Cipriana Mamani, who remembers that in her town of Accha Alta, their finely woven textiles had many lives and were repurposed for use over and over again. Intimate photographs capture each of the elders, some of whom had never seen a picture of themselves or even looked in a mirror, revealing the life, strength, character, and experience of these men and women.
Published December 1st, 2013