María del Valle Gutiérrez

First Spokesperson and weaver of the Cooperative “Mesa Local Laguna Blanca”

María del Valle Gutiérrez has been a spinner and weaver since her childhood. Along with her high altitude community, she practices chaku, the careful capture, shearing, and release back into the wild of vicuña. Besides her spinning and weaving talents, María practices extremely complex rapacejos, a unique looping and knotting technique used to decorate the borders of rebozos. Her rapacejo specialty is the design ojo de perdiz (partridge’s eye). In the Feria de la Puna (Festival of the Puna) in Antofagasta de la Sierra, Catamarca, Argentina, María won first place with a scarf woven of vicuña in the ojo de perdiz motif.