“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.