Celebrating Peru’s Ancestral Textiles

Stefanie BerganiniBehind the Scenes, Indigenous Connections, Travel Tours

On the third of November, the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) held a “Celebration of Ancestral Textile Arts” to mark the unveiling of its newly remodeled store, educational center, and office building in central Cusco. Throughout the day, representatives from the CTTC’s ten weaving associations spread across the sunlit green lawn of the Qorikancha, the most important temple in all of Incan culture, to work on backstrap looms, show off naturally dyed yarn, and talk with locals and tourists as interested passersby filled the wide sidewalk along the lawn. Dignitaries including the CTTC’s executive director Nilda Callañuapa, the CTTC’s board president Miryam Luna, and the mayor of Cusco, Víctor G. Boluarte Medina, all spoke warmly about the important … Read More

Chinchero Weaving Center Ready for More Visitors

Anita OsterhaugBehind the Scenes, Indigenous Connections, Travel Tours

Chinchero, Peru is a town in transition. It’s good news and bad news. Travel to Peru’s Sacred Valley has outgrown the airport in Cusco, and a new airport is under construction in Chinchero, one that will put incoming tourists that much closer to Machu Picchu, the ultimate destination of so many. The face of Chinchero is already changing, with exploding construction, more traffic, new businesses. The weavers of Chinchero are concerned about how the airport will affect their community. At the same time, they are determined to preserve their textile traditions and take advantage of what new opportunities may come. In preparation, the Chinchero weaving center, an extension of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), has been remodeled … Read More

A Long-Awaited Visit to Peru’s Weaving Communities

Marilyn MurphyBehind the Scenes, Indigenous Connections, Travel Tours

During a recent ATA board visit to weaving communities in Peru, the village of Mahuaypampa was our first stop. Of all our visits, this community was the hardest hit by illness and low morale over the past few years. But this day, we were warmly greeted by the weavers who showered us with rose petals, followed by an honorable request to be padrinos (godparents) of their weaving shelter (we were the first group they welcomed into their center). With hammer in hands, held jointly by at least five of us, we smashed a clay jar filled with chicha, a corn-based beverage, and entered the compound. Construction of their weaving shelter was still underway (a project begun in 2019 with the … Read More

Update on Andean Textile Arts Tours

Pam ArtTravel Tours

As many of you know, our tours have been on hold since 2020 due to COVID-related concerns. Although COVID is still with us, vaccines, treatments, and fewer restrictions on international travel are giving us hope that we can begin to resume our tours in the coming months. It’s exciting to think about traveling again and at the same time challenging to plan for all the possible contingencies. We have always strived to plan and conduct safe tours for our participants. We’ve provided tips and guidelines for staying healthy while traveling, including specific information on altitude-related issues, food safety, sanitizing to avoid germs carried by money and other items, and staying hydrated. Both ATA and our travel partner in Peru, Raul … Read More

A Visit to Peru

Marcia MatthieuTravel Tours

Editor’s note: ATA is hoping to resume tours, like the one described here by Marcia, in 2022. We are working closely with our tour partners in Peru to access the COVID situation and how and when we can conduct ATA tours safely. If you are on the waiting list for tours, we’ll be sending you a questionnaire about potential safety measures. If you are interested in a future tour, contact Pam Art at pam.art@icloud.com Three years later, my friends and I are still talking about our Andean Textile Arts (ATA) tour of Peru. In ten short days, our group was exposed to Peruvian culture as expressed in the spinning, weaving, and other fiber arts, as well as the natural and … Read More

A Day in Pisaq: Falling in Love with a Land and Its People

Sandi CardilloTravel Tours

From the moment our plane banked over the Andes in the final turn for the landing in Cusco, I was awestruck. I leaned over my husband Richard’s shoulder, as we both looked out the window and simply said, “Wow.” We live in Colorado, so mountains are not new to us. The Andes, however, are truly special. You can see it. You can feel it. This is a majestic and sacred place. The Andean Textile Arts tour has been on my life-list for a long while. While I am struggling neophyte weaver, I am a lover of all things fiber. I love the color of hand-dyed yarns. I love putting my hands in a big bag of wool. I love creating … Read More

2020 Textile Tour of Bolivia: POSTPONED

Pam ArtTravel Tours

After much discussion among the ATA board of directors and consultation with Kevin Healy, ATA advisory board member and Bolivia expert, we’ve made the decision to postpone this year’s Bolivia tour until the fall of 2021. We’ve been monitoring the evolving Bolivian political situation over recent months. After the general election last November, the results were challenged, an interim government was put in place, and a new election was announced for early May. Now, less than two months from that vote, the latest dynamics in Bolivia point to a post-election period that could be a troublesome time with potential unrest and protests. At the very least, we won’t know until May which way the election will go nor what the … Read More

Bolivia: A Textile Adventure Steeped in Tradition

Jannes GibsonTravel Tours

Bolivia has a rich Andean textile tradition, borne of its history as the center of the ancient Tiwanaku empire and later as part of the Inca empire from the 15th to early 16th centuries. The idea of an ATA tour to Bolivia came about during the last Tinkuy in Peru, in conversations with Andean Textile Arts (ATA) board member Betty Doerr and Kevin Healy. Early in his life, Kevin was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Lake Titicaca region along the border between Bolivia and Peru, and then he worked for years as a grant officer for the Inter American Foundation (IAF). Who better to introduce our ATA community to Bolivia? This August, 15 intrepid tour participants joined our favorite … Read More

Andean Textile Arts Goes to Bolivia!

Pam ArtTravel Tours

For the first time, Andean Textile Arts is offering a Bolivian artisan tour. While the inaugural tour is already full for August 2019, we expect this to be an annual event, in addition to our popular annual Peruvian Highlands Tour. Bolivia will provide us with natural wonders to explore, along with traditional arts, cultures, and bustling markets. We’ll visit the lowland artisans of ArteCampo in Santa Cruz who produce indigenous and campesino craft goods and weave with the jipijapa palm. From Santa Cruz we’ll fly to Sucre, one of Bolivia’s most charming cities. There we’ll take a walking tour and visit ASUR, a nonprofit that helps weaving communities, such as Jalq’a and Tarabuco, maintain their traditions by promoting the production … Read More

2018 Andean Arts Textile Tour

Andean Textile ArtsTravel Tours

2018 Andean Arts Textile TourOctober 22- November 2 For many people, traveling to Peru and experiencing Machu Picchu is on their “bucket list.”  For those of us who celebrate artisan textiles, that dream may include the opportunity to visit some highland villages, meet the weavers in person, and see their hands at work on the patterns that have been passed down for generations. And what if you could try your own hands at spinning, backstrap weaving, or natural dyeing?  Even better, what if you could do all that accompanied by internationally recognized Quechua master weaver Nilda Callanaupa? That dream would be almost too good to come true!  Almost. The good news is that we have arranged all those experiences for … Read More