My love for textiles awakened watching my parents dedicate their life to it.

My artisan teacher was always my mother, she was the one who taught, corrected, and accompanied me in my journey of learning this marvelous art. My motivation is to help, from my station, to conserve ancestral textile techniques.  I grew up with the incorrect idea that artisans were inferior people because their work was not of value to the youth of our community. This made me ashamed, but with little effort I have learned the value of this identity. My mother and father joined to make me a woolen blanket using a reserved and guarded technique. Years ago, my grandparents made a blanket similar for my mother. This gift is full of significance and value for me, here in this garment I have the hands and hearts of my parents. Someday I will create a similar blanket with the same ancestral techniques and leave the traces of my hands to the next generation.

Celeste is an independent weaver from Jujuy, Argentina. She is the daughter of artisans and is learning the textile techniques that her mother and father know, these include work in waist loom, pedal loom, embroidery and two needle weaving. Its her first Tinkuy.

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“My grandparents inherit us this art and way of living. I have been able to hone my techniques on weaving tapestries on the pedal loom, the twisted feather technique, dyeing of fibers, spin, and created my own designs. In the future I would like to have an adequate place to do my art and to be able to show it to the world.”

Roman Gutierrez Ruiz from Oaxaca, Mexico has been a weaver for many years. This is his first Tinkuy and as a first time participant, looks forward to meeting other textile artists and learning what types of techniques they use to weave in other countries and he would like to share as well his own techniques.

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“I learned to work the pedal loom from my father at a very young age. My desire to preserve and rescue the textile traditions from my country has made me research and learn more techniques.

I followed my passion and chose not to pursue a career but instead I continued with our textile traditions. At the age of 16 I won 1st prize among many skilled artisans, including my father at an artisan contest in Tlaxcala. In the future I would like to open a gallery and teach the young generation the art of textile and its traditions so it won’t get lost in the age of industrialization”

 

Maestro Arnufo Xochitiotzin Cocoletzi from Tlaxcala, Mexico has been a weaver for many years. This is his first Tinkuy and as a first time participant, he wants to share the art of weaving sarapes from Saltillo. He also looks forward to meeting other textile artists and learning a variety of techniques from other artisans from other countries, especially from Peru.

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“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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