Leon Taype Alanya

President of the Taype Textile Association

Leon was born in the rural community of Ambato in the Yauli district of Huancavelica, a region in southwest Perú. Leon is president of the Taype Textile Association which is composed of members of the Taype family of artisans. Members of the association work both in five-needle knitting to create gloves, hats, socks, scarves, and other textiles, as well as on the pedal loom in both sheep and alpaca fiber. Leon inherited his textile art from his ancestors. When he was a child he would watch his father working the pedal loom, and eventually began to weave himself when he was 15 years old. He would sell or trade his work with neighbors for sheep, and quickly learned the economic possibilities of weaving. Leon began to weave even more on his father’s loom in order to save enough money to buy one of his own in order to weave even more. Eventually Leon also learned how to braid traditional slings and how to make pom-poms, which form an important decorative part of many traditional textiles. Today Leon weaves shawls and scarves in Baby Alpaca on the pedal loom and makes decorative pom-poms with designs.