Individuals of Tinkuy 2017: Alipio Melo Irqo

“What I’ve known to weave since I was a child is what I will share, like sling braiding and more. I learned to weave when I was eight years old, my mother taught me and I always liked to weave since I was very little, but my mother didn’t want me to weave because she would hit me saying ‘why do you want to weave these things?!’ but when I still wanted to weave in the end she taught me and that’s when I began to learn. I know how to weave on the backstrap loom of four stakes, knitting with five needles, sling braiding, ticlla from Pitumarca (discontinuous warp and weft), amapolas, palma y ramos (a type of complementary warp), pata de tres (complementary warp of three colors), and ley (supplementary warp). I know all of the techniques of my community. Besides this I also do other techniques as we have also learnt the Juanita Mummy blanket and the poncho of Simon Bolivar. Recently this is what we have done. (The designs of both the Mommy Juanita textiles and the poncho of Simon Bolivar are distinct and highly complex).

I’ve participated [before in Tinkuy] and it was marvelous for me, I remember in Urubamba we had an excellent time and we shared our knowledge and in 2013 I remember that we learned to weave other things like double cloth and the looping technique which were new for me. (Double cloth is a pre-Columbian technique. Looping is a pre-Columbian technique used to make four-pointed hats). [I want to participate in Tinkuy] because I’m an artisan and I want to learn more from those who are going to come, other artisans, and I also want to learn more about textiles from other cultures and how they weave in other countries and in many communities.”

Alipio Melo Irco is an accomplished young weaver with the association Asociación Tejedores Munay Ticlla del Distrito de Pitumarca in the community of Pitumarca, Perú. Alipio will teach the Advanced Backstrap Weaving workshop in Tinkuy 2017.











Alipio teaching a chullo (hat) knitting class with five needles in the round. 

Individuals of Tinkuy 2017: Phetra Huayta

“I’ve participated in the previous Tinkuys and for me it was a nice memory to teach the tourists to weave pampa and ticlla (plainweave and discontinuous warp and weft), this is what we taught the tourists, and it’s a wonderful memory for me. I’m excited about the textiles that they’ll teach us [in Tinkuy], our exchange, they teach me to exchange ideas with them, to exchange textiles. I’ll share what I know and what we weave in Pitumarca.

There in Pitumarca we do four techniques: amapolas, ley (supplementary warp), palma y ramos (a type of complementary warp weave), and pata de tres (complementary warp of three colors). I weave in order to not forget my ancient traditions, to keep weaving more, and so that I don’t forget my traditions. My dream is to learn more and not forget my textiles and to keep learning.

I learned when my mother taught me when I was six years old and the first textile that I made was tanka churu , after that jilera. [Tanka churu is the design most young weavers learn first. Jilera is a small ribbon used as a skirt tie]. These are the first textiles that I made, afterward I learned everything else. When I learned to weave my mother taught me and I almost couldn’t fit all the designs into my head, she got angry with me but because she got angry then I learned and afterward I learned all that I know.”

Phetra Huayta is an accomplished young weaver with the association Asociación Tejedores Munay Ticlla del Distrito de Pitumarca in the community of Pitumarca, Perú. In Tinkuy 2017 Phetra will teach the Advanced Backstrap Weaving workshop.


Phetra, as far as we know, is the first person who has thought to use the same backstrap loom to work on two weaving projects at once. Here she is taking advantage of her large loom to weave two small chuspa bags at the same time.

Individuals of Tinkuy 2017: Pedro Chicche Gutiérrez

“Sharing with my colleagues and my children, to transcend generations with my art, [this is my dream]. I have always liked to share my textiles and what I know.[In Tinkuy] I´ll share the traditional textiles I make and show my work.

[We] always learn from generation to generation, my father and mother always knew how to weave and I’ve known since I was 12 years old. My children are already weaving as well because I am teaching them.

Before I didn’t know how to do fine weaving on the backstrap loom, I always wove thick pallay [designs] with yarn. Before I made thick blankets, not like I am weaving now, and [before] it was easier to lift the threads because they were thick. It was hard to learn to weave with finer thread, but practicing little by little I was able to learn.”

Pedro Chicche Gutiérrez is a weaver and knitter with the association Centro de Tejedores Inka Pallay de Chahuaytire in the community of Chahuaytire, Perú. This will be the third Tinkuy that Cirilo participates in as a representative of his community and as a representative of the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco.