Weaving Lives: Traditional Textiles of Cusco
By the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco

Weaving Lives presents a concise overview of the people, the processes, and the history of handmade textiles in the Cusco district, as portrayed in the museum of Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Typical techniques, motifs, daily life, and special celebrations are shown in photographs from Highland weaving villages and from displays in the museum. Presented in English and Spanish, this is a good introduction to the fine weaving traditions of the Andes.

 

 

 

Textile Traditions of Chinchero: A Living Heritage
By Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez
Published by Thrums Books

Hundreds of vintage and fascinating full-color photos illustrate this bilingual book that explores the traditional weavers of Chinchero, Peru, at work on their traditional dress and costume. From shearing the wool and dyeing and spinning the yarn to the final weaving on traditional backstrap looms, all the aspects of this traditional art are detailed, and pattern motifs representing flora, fauna, geographical features, farm tools, and more are cataloged and explained. The role of special textiles in the rituals and festivals of the community is documented and the evolution of weaving over four generations is told in the voices of the elders of Chinchero.

 

 

 

Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu - cover

Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life
By Elizabeth Conrad VanBuskirk
Paintings by Angel L Callañaupa Alvarez
Published by Thrums Books

Andean village life is vibrantly depicted through folk tales, stories, and art in this compendium of South American culture with a special focus on the famous Andean practice of weaving and other textile arts. The stories and paintings exhibited within take a rare, in-depth look into South American native people, their customs, everyday lives, incidents of change, and profound appreciation and celebration of the natural world, bringing forth Incan rituals and beliefs about the living earth (Pacha Mama), the majestic mountains worshipped as Apus, the sky and its “black constellations,” the meanings attached to sacred water, the events of nature and ever-changing climate, and the stages of life and growth. Stories include The Gift of Quinoa, The Bear Prince, and The First Haircutting, all interspersed with distinguished, imaginative, and expansive paintings that vividly illustrate scenes of little-known but time-honored traditions, like the annual Pilgrimage to the Ice Mountain, the ceremony of Qoyllu Riti, Star of the Snow, and other events that mark the life of Inca people in the past and today.

Weaving in the Peruvian Highland: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories
By Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez
Published by Thrums Books

A richly illustrated look at Andean weaving, which embodies the living history and culture of the Peruvian highlands, this guide extensively catalogs many of the intricate patterns found in traditional Peruvian textiles. Exploring the personal histories of the Quechua people who sustain this tradition, it examines how they weave extraordinary amounts of cloth on simple backstrap looms—just as their forebears have done for thousands of years—to make clothing, rugs, bedcovers, potato sacks, hunting slings, and sacrificial fabrics for both their villages and for interested tourists. How pattern names such as Meandering River or Lake With Flowers relate to the geography and history of the region is also discussed, as is how the traditional natural materials and colors enhance the value of the work.

 

 

 

Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes
By Nilda Callañaupa & Christine Franquemont
Photography by Joe Coca
Published by Thrums Books
Gold winner in the multicultural division of the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards

In this revealing cultural study dozens of ancient weavers and the landscapes that they occupy in the Cusco region of the Andes are vividly portrayed through personal stories and life experiences, bringing to life the decades of endurance, skill, fortitude, and natural pride honed from the time-honored traditions of the region and its people. Some of the storytellers featured here include Pitumarca’s Timoteo Ccarita, who became so interested in the old textiles he found on his own travels that he re-created tapestry techniques from sight; Leonardo Quispe, who single-handedly rescued and revived the techniques of ikat-style tied-warp dyeing (watay) in his community of Santa Cruz de Sallac; and Cipriana Mamani, who remembers that in her town of Accha Alta, their finely woven textiles had many lives and were repurposed for use over and over again. Intimate photographs capture each of the elders, some of whom had never seen a picture of themselves or even looked in a mirror, revealing the life, strength, character, and experience of these men and women.

 

 

 

Coming Soon

Coming Soon…
The CTTC and Thrums Books presents:

A new book dedicated to the young weavers, focussed on unique Andean textile techniques and practices! Stay tuned for sneak peeks. Publication expected 2017.