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Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming…

Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories

by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez

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  BirdGwen | Apr 10, 2009 |
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Handwoven fabrics comprise the living history and culture of the peruvian highlands from cusco to machu picchu and beyond. fabric patterns with evocative names reflect the landscape and events in vivid color, evolving over time -- The weavers who create these fabrics in the time-honored way are keepers of the culture and sustainers of a noble but difficult lifestyle in tune with the earth. they raise llamas and alpacas for fiber, collect plants for natural dyes, spin yarn on primitive spindles, and weave acres of cloth on simple backstrap looms just as their forebears have done for thousands of years. they weave clothing, rugs, bedcovers, potato sacks, hunting slings, and sacrificial fabrics ? for themselves and their villages, and for sale to supplement their meager incomes -- Travellers visiting the area (hundreds of thousands a year from north america alone) are drawn to this authentic, well-crafted work and given the opportunity to collect it at every street corner and rail stop. weaving in the peruvian andes is their guide to quality, understanding, and appreciation. they will learn how pattern names such as meandering river or lake with flowers relate to the geography and history, and how the traditional natural materials and colors enhance the value of the work.… (more)

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