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By weavers, for weavers…
The Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1996 by Andean weavers and their supporters. The mission of the Center is to aid in the survival of Cusqueñan textile traditions and to provide support to the indigenous people who create them. The Center works with ten weaving communities in the Cusco region of Peru on a fair-trade basis to help rescue traditions and promote the weavers and their work. Through community organization, workshops, educational opportunities and more the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco ensures that there is a future for Cusqueñan textile traditions.
Our clothes reflect our family’s wealth and our success, and they also show our skill in making them… By weaving [our clothes], we give ourselves a personal seal. Benita Ccana, Pitumarca weaver
In the Andes of South American textiles are omnipresent in the lives of the indigenous people who call this rugged mountain range their home. Textiles are both eminently practical as they protect from the harsh mountain climate, and stunningly beautiful as generations of weavers have applied their creativity to invent techniques and designs found nowhere else in the world. As it was in the past, textiles today form a powerful part of identity.
But this identity is at risk. Indigenous people still face racism on a daily basis. A globalized market economy that produces cheap, machine made products destroys respect and interest in the hand-made. Infringement on the intellectual rights of native peoples only makes this worst. Thread by thread, design by design, the weavers from Accha Alta and Acopia, Sallac, Patabamba and six other communities are battling to bring back their traditions from the brink of extinction. Through research and exhibits, the daily use of their textiles and more, the weavers are teaching the world not only why their textiles matter, but showing that they do not reside in the annals of history. Andean textiles are a living tradition.
The patterns of Chinchero can be seen in many weavings of regions other than Cusco, in other communities as well as in other countries, and perhaps as a consequence of this our identification with our patterns in the future could disappear…Estefania Quispe, Chinchero weaver