“During the gathering this year, I’ll only go as a visitor. I’m a weaver of ñanduti, an art that is passed down from generation to generation, and today I’m dedicated to teaching this [art form], so that this beautiful, thousand-year-old tradition is not lost.

Ñanduti, at a specific time in my life, turned into my salvation and an economic income, it was a return to my roots and a discovery that in some part of my heart, soul and hands remained intact the teachings of my grandmother in my infancy in Paraguay, my first weavings and threads of color, and despite the passing of time, I found all of this branded in me.

The connection with my roots is what spurred me to weave and apply this to domestic pieces like bags, fans, sombreros, tablecloths, etc.

The principal obstacle [I’ve faced] is that if ñanduti is a very beautiful and attention-grabbing textile, in the moment of commercialization, the price of the product doesn’t reflect the time and effort employed to achieve the pieces.”


Leonidas Silva was born in Paraguay, but has spent the past 36 years living in Argentina. Leonidas will attend Tinkuy 2017 as a participant and is excited to learn new techniques and meet new friends.

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“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. 

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“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.

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“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.


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“…I didn’t dream of being a weaver, I didn’t have that experience [as a child], but after seeing what elders wove I said ‘I’d like to weave.’ The first days or the first months I faced a lot of obstacles to learning, seeing it I thought it was going to be kind of easy, but when you pick up the loom itself it’s hard, and following what you go along learning that is when you really learn.

I like to weave so that our customs and traditions aren’t lost, our clothing more than anything, the clothing that we use and that of our ancestors. We always dream to have our textiles and that the value of textiles not be lost.

My dream is to teach my children to follow in my footsteps to continue weaving, so that it is not lost, so that it doesn’t just end with me, but also that my children pass it on to other generations.”

Cirilo Yucra Mamani 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.


Cirilo Yucra Mamani and fellow weaver Jose Sutta

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 “The obstacles [I face as a textile artist] have not been too great as I keep growing as an artist. More than anything they’re economic, as it’s very difficult to find people who appreciate the value of an artisan. It’s because of this that I have never been able to live off of my work as a textile artist. It’s because of this that I’ve found it difficult to attend other gatherings because of the costs that they entail.

I’ve not participated before, this will be my first time in Tinkuy. The best thing about these gatherings is the exchange. The shared personal experiences that enrich us. Participating in this Tinkuy as a weaver will fulfill my dream. Since I began my textile studies I’ve dreamed of traveling to Cusco, seeing Machu Picchu and weaving there. God willing, in November I’ll fulfill my dream and afterward I’ll continue tangling myself in warps to create the best of me and of them.

I’ve studied textiles professionally, archeological cloths, braids, etc in the Escuela Taller de Arte y Artesanías Folclóricos de Morón, Bs As, Argentina. I also greatly enjoy investigating warps and in this I’ve achieved amazing results, including brocade in the double cloth technique which I would like to share on this occasion [in Tinkuy 2017].”

Mabel Garcia is a guest textile artist who has extensively studied traditional Argentinian textiles and who directs a workshop in a traditional center in El Rodeo, Argentina. During Tinkuy 2017 Mabel will present on a panel along with other guest textile artists.


Brocaded double cloth


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“The Otavalo ‘Otavalango’ Museum of the Kichwa People was born on the 10th of January in 2011, thanks to the enthusiasm and enterprising initiative of the very children of this place, Kichwa men and women from the countryside and the city, decedents of the old factory workers and different communities. We began to shape a dream that seemed impossible as it was to recover from negligence and oblivion this historic patrimony that for so long had been forgotten.

And this was how, for the first time in history, a group of Otavalo Kichwa people, we became owners of this icon that is Patrimony of Ecuador. Due to this we are now guardians of this architectural, historic, and cultural patrimony called the Museo Otavalango.”

Luzmila Zambrano is the director of the Museo del Pueblo Kichwa de Otavalo “Otavalango” in Otavalo, Ecuador where she works to promote the traditional customs and clothing of the indigenous men and women who’s ancestors where exploited for over 200 years in the very factory that is now their cultural center and museum. During Tinkuy 2017 Luzmila will present during a panel concerning museums on Nov 10th, 12:00 – 1:00 pm in the Ollantaytambo conference room. Learn more about the incredible work of the Living Museum of Otavalango at their website: https://otavalango.org/

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Every week between now and Tinkuy we will highlight one of the many unique individuals coming to Tinkuy 2017 this November. Get a brief insight into their work now before meeting them in person during Tinkuy! Stay tuned for future posts!


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This year we are honored to welcome five distinguished keynote speakers to Tinkuy 2017. Each will present on topics related to the theme ‘Weaving the Past, Present, and Future.’

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Coming from The Textile Museum in Washington D.C., Ann Pollard Rowe is one of the most recognized names in the field of New World textiles. For over three decades she has meticulously documented styles, designs, structure and textile classification from various western hemisphere cultures.

Presenting on the first day with Ann will be Carmella Padilla, a freelance writer who covers Hispanic culture in northern New Mexico. Her keynote address based on her co-authored book A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World will provide a fascinating glimpse into the revolutionary changes in textiles, painting, and culture brought about by this single dye.

Joining us from Peru will be Dr. Ramiro Matos, curator in the office of Latin America with the Smithsonian´s National Museum of the American Indian. Dr. Matos recently launched the critical exhibit The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire which will be open until June, 2018. His keynote address will cover The Past and the importance of textiles to the Inca in forming and maintaining their empire.

Wade Davis is a world-renowned anthropologist, ethnobotnist and documentary film maker who currently serves as an Explorer in Residence with National Geographic. His work focuses on indigenous cultures of the Americas and the traditional uses and knowledge of medicinal plants. Wade’s keynote address will revolve around The Present and the place traditional textiles hold today in our lives. 

Also joining us from Peru will be Roger Valencia, president of the Cámara de Comercio in Cusco and director of Andean Lodges, a local pioneer in sustainable tourism with a focus on supporting communities and ecosystems. With over 32 years working with local communities around the sacred mountain Ausangate, Roger will present on The Future and how we can create an inclusive space for traditional textiles on a global stage.

We are thrilled to announce that the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco will host another Tinkuy in November of 2017. Tinkuy is an international textile conference that focuses on providing an interactive space to explore the many facets of textile traditions from across the globe. The word tinkuy means ‘gathering’ in Quechua, the native language of the Inca that is still spoken today by millions of people throughout the Andes. In this spirit, the event Tinkuy gathers together textile artists and enthusiasts, anthropologists, art historians and many others in the city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

The first Tinkuy, titled Gathering of Weavers, was held in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Peru in 2010. The three day event brought together weavers from across the Americas to celebrate their textile traditions. The first Tinkuy was such a success that it left everyone hungry for more: more presentations, more workshops, more time to share traditions and meet weavers from so many different cultures. Plans were set to make Tinkuy a regular event and the second Tinkuy was held in Cusco, Peru in 2013. This Gathering of Weavers brought together over 500 textile artists and enthusiasts from around the world for three days of intensive lectures, presentations and workshops.  


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This year we are excited to begin work on the third Tinkuy, titled Tinkuy 2017: Gathering of the Textile Arts in order to better reflect the nature of the event.  Set to take place from November 8th – 11th, Tinkuy 2017 will be themed around ‘Weaving the Past, Present, and Future.’ The first full day of the conference will revolve around our ancestor’s relationship to textiles and the history of textile traditions. On the second day we will explore our present relationship to textiles and what this means for our identity and everyday lives. The final day of the conference will focus on the future and the young weavers who are working to keep our fiber traditions alive.

Whether you are a textile artist or enthusiast, anthropologist or general admirer of indigenous art, we welcome you to participate in this wonderful opportunity to explore the richness and diversity of our global textile traditions. Tinkuy 2017 will dazzle you with color and design, but most of all, with new friends from every walk of life.