“There Will Always Be a Hunger for Beauty”

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

These were the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, addressing the Artisan Enterprise: The New Startup Economy Forum at the State Department on September 10. Hilda Roque Perez and Antonia Callañaupa Alvarez traveled to Washington D.C. to represent The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) at the forum. The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, hosted by the Aspen Institute, is a collaborative effort of more than 60 members working together to promote the full potential of artisan enterprise around the world. CTTC is fortunate to be a member. Hilda reflects, “it was important to know and understand that the economic might of the artisan sector is valued at 32 billion dollars and this economic impact is not always recognized, … Read More

On the Road with CTTC

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

June and July were busy, busy travel months for CTTC, with a major presence at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC, followed by the Santa Fe Folk Art Market. IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL The Smithsonian event, Peru Pachamama, focused solely on Peru this year, unlike previous years in which several countries were featured. The extreme biodiversity of Peru provided opportunities to feature highland, jungle, and coastal cultures. As reported by ATA board member Jan Gibson, CTTC was represented by Nilda and Angel Callañaupa along with Timoteo, Damian, Rosita, Delia, Epephenia, Leandra, and Quintina from member villages. Their activities were by no means confined to weaving: they were also dyeing, cooking, dancing, telling stories, presenting at discussions, … Read More

The First Gathering of Young Weavers

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) has a well-guarded secret. We work with nine amazing groups of young weavers from nine of our ten communities. For the past several years these groups of children and young adults have gathered in their communities’ weaving centers every Saturday to learn from their elders and carry on weaving traditions that could have been lost forever between the cracks of time. This year the CTTC began to develop more programs and opportunities for the Young Weavers Groups (formerly called Jakima Clubs). On Saturday, June 6th, we held the First Gathering of Young Weavers, a program we hope to make a bi-annual event. At 8:00 in the morning 195 young people and their adult … Read More

All in a Day’s Journey to Huacatinco Village

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled. Such is the case when it’s the only road to the village of Huacatinco in the Ocongate region of the Cusco highlands of Peru. In February, ATA board members Betty Doerr, Jan Gibson, and Marilyn Murphy, along with CTTC director Nilda Callañaupa, and her husband Paulino, traveled to the most remote of the CTTC artisan communities. Huacatinco joined CTTC in 2013. This marked the first time ATA board members would see the newly-built community center made possible through a generous donation from Patricia Zilinski, in memory of her mother, Ann DeKam. The mighty Ausangate mountain frames the landscape. Light-colored dots in the distance become sheep and alpacas upon closer inspection. The … Read More

Mojonamiento in Chinchero, March 2015: The Community of Ocotuan

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Carnaval is a very important time of year in Chinchero, as in many areas in the Cusco region. During Carnaval there are numerous activities in which the population participates; one of these is Mojonamiento. It’s a bit past 5 am and the mayors, or varayoc, are beautifully dressed in their red ponchos, carrying their ceremonial rods. The resonant sound of their conch shells, or pututos, announces the beginning once again of mojonamiento. During this festivity people in each district join together with their mayor in an ancient ritual that has the objective of renewing and upholding the boundaries that separate one community from another. The activities begin in Chinchero’s main plaza with the waylacas, who play an integral part in the festivity. Surprisingly, waylacas are men who are dressed … Read More

A Decade of Difference

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Andean Textile Arts joined Jim Kane of Cultural Xplorers, a leader in the field of sutstainable travel, in sponsoring this year’s Weaver Awards. Jim co-founded the program with Nilda in 2005. Jim attended the judging and presentation of awards in Cusco, and shares these thoughts and images: In the globalized, digitized world where I spend much of my time, ten years is an eternity. After all, ten years ago Facebook was an unknown start-up and Twitter didn’t even exist. Looking around me at the dozens of gorgeously attired weavers animatedly chatting in Chinchero, I kept trying to wrap my mind around a single number: 10. These Andean artists had traveled from ten rural communities as far as ten hours away … Read More

Teaching Double Weave to Peruvian Weavers

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Be careful what you say “yes” to. In this case, by saying yes, weaver Jennifer Moore created the richest personal experience of her life. Jennifer is a foremost authority, weaving teacher, and author on the subject of double weave, a technique in which two layers of cloth are woven simultaneously, the layers interchanging to create reversible patterns. Though her experience was in weaving on foot-powered European-style floor looms, she had spent years researching double weave pick-up techniques, which were used in Pre-Columbian textiles as well as in other cultures. Jennifer had met Nilda Callañaupa, CTTC’s founder and director, while teaching at weaving conferences in the U.S.  So in the course of planning for the 2013 Tinkuy, the international gathering of … Read More

Making Connections, Changing Lives

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Maybe you’ve been on one of the ATA excursions to Peru. Maybe you’ve watched the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco grow from a dream to a significant presence in the heart of the city. Because you’re reading this right now, it’s safe to say that you’ve helped support that growth. So read on – CTTC will be hosting a deeply interesting and unforgettable event this November, and you should consider being there.      Tinkuy de Tejedores 2013, a Gathering of Weavers, builds on the first Tinkuy in 2010. After that first Tinkuy, Nilda said “never again” – it was a huge success, but also a huge effort. But it wasn’t six months before the staff rallied and said, “We … Read More