Scaffold Weaving: A New Life for a Remarkable Ancient Art

Jennifer MooreUncategorized

Scaffold weaving, also known as discontinuous warp, or ticlla in the Quechua language, is a remarkably complex and time-consuming ancient weaving technique. It originated in the Andean region of South America—the only place in the world where it existed—during the Middle Horizon and Late Horizon periods (AD 400-1535). We are fortunate that a number of examples of pre-Columbian scaffold weaving can still be seen in museum collections today. This technique has now been revitalized and is being practiced in Pitumarca, Peru, one of the ten weaving communities that comprise the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). In most weaving techniques, the warp threads are continuous lengths from the top end of the backstrap loom to the bottom. In scaffold … Read More

ATA Website is New and Improved!

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

Welcome to the shiny, new ATA website! Our new layout is designed to make it easier to learn about ATA-sponsored programs and to see our latest blog posts, tours, news, and events, plus lots of new photos for your enjoyment. To the right of the navigation buttons, you’ll also find translation buttons – the tiny flags – so you can view content in English or Spanish.  (Yes, that is a Mexican flag. Sadly, the translation software doesn’t currently offer the flags of any Andean nations for the button.) The other good news is that the underlying web platform is now WordPress. This means even more of your donations can go into supporting Andean textile communities rather than into operating costs. The cost of our donor management software … Read More

Update: Giving Tuesday Campaigns for Young Weavers Groups

Anita OsterhaugUncategorized

ATA is always looking for ways to grow our support for Andean textile communities. Over the years, we have been successful at raising funds through textile tours and direct donations. But with plans to expand our programs from Peru to Bolivia and Ecuador, we need to grow donations. Online “crowdfunding” sites and social media offer nonprofits a powerful new tool in the quest to expand their fundraising and their impact. Many nonprofits begin their end-of-year fundraising on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping promotions). So, in November 2018, we launched a Giving Tuesday campaign to raise money for the Young Weavers Groups program and to learn more about online fundraising. We … Read More

How ATA Supports the Revitalization of Textile Techniques

Marilyn MurphyUncategorized

Can you imagine recreating a textile technique of the Nazca people who lived on the southern coast of Peru from 100 BC to AD 200? I recently saw an example of this technique in a detailed border fragment at the Art Institute of Chicago exhibit “Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes.” The stitch used to make the three-dimensional plant and animal forms (shown in the picture above) is a complex looping and cross-knit looping technique. There is an ATA link to this pre-Columbian technique. For the past two years, your donations have been supporting weavers at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) in revitalizing this cross-stitch looping. They have spent hundreds of hours bent over tiny needles, working with … Read More

The Road to Reclaiming an Ancient Paracas Textile Technique

Ercil Howard-WrothUncategorized

An amazing exhibit of work by the Andean weavers of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) was recently on display (May 3-June 30) at the Museo Inka in Cusco, Peru. The exhibit, “Reclaiming Ancient Paracas: The Struggle to Recover a Textile Technique” (sponsored by Andean Textile Arts), showcased pieces the weavers created using the pre-Colombian Paracas and Nasca tubular cross-knit looping technique. Recovering textile practices of one’s ancestors takes time and dedication. The exhibit originated nearly three years ago when 20 Andean weavers from CTTC-associated weaving communities attended a workshop at the 2017 Tinkuy conference (also sponsored by ATA). In a unique union of academic and indigenous descendants of the Nasca,  professors Soledad Hoces de la Guardia and … Read More

Bring Peru to You with our PTIAB Progam

Susie StraussUncategorized

Peruvian Textiles in a Box (PTIB) allows you to experience the traditional textiles and meet some of the peoples of Peru without having to leave the comfort of your guild or classroom meeting space! This is an all-inclusive educational program that provides an introduction to, and education about, Peruvian indigenous textiles and the skilled artisans who make them. Through the documentary video, Peruvian Weaving Revival by Janet Darrow and actual samples of the artisans’ works, you will meet the weavers, dyers, knitters, and spinners of the Peruvian Highlands who are cooperative members of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). This self-contained program is designed for fiber guilds, educational settings, and other interested groups. It is packaged with: a 25-minute video which … Read More

Cochineal: A Simple Bug on a Cactus Pad

Ercil Howard-WrothUncategorized

The indigenous Mixtec people of Mexico tell the story of two brothers, gods in the land of the “cloud men,” who raged in mortal conflict over fields of nopal cacti. Their blood fell upon the fields, splattering the pads of the nopal and giving future generations an “ink that would circulate through their very veins.” Thus, cochineal was born in the Mixtec pantheon of the gods. Used in ancient times as paint, a cosmetic, and eventually textile dye, cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a tiny scale parasitic insect that originated in the Andean regions of what is now Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. It migrated via coastal trade routes north into Mexico some 2,200 years ago. Its use as a textile dye … Read More

Las Tradiciones Viven: The Next Generation of Weavers

Linda LigonUncategorized

One of the biggest concerns, for those of us who love and work with indigenous textiles from around the world, is “Who will carry on the traditions?” Young people once learned from their elders, stayed in their home villages, got a sixth-grade education at most, married young, and spun and wove for the rest of their lives for subsistence wages. Today they carry cell phones to connect to the outside world and aspire to go to high school or university. The allure of a profession in the city is powerful. To seek an easier, more forward-looking life should be their right. But then what about those exquisite traditional textiles, the ones that require weeks or months of skilled work for … Read More

Peruvian Textiles in a Box: Textiles and Traditions of the Peruvian Highland Weavers

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

You can meet the weavers, dyers, knitters, and spinners of the Peruvian Highlands without leaving home. The ATA educational program “Peruvian Textiles in a Box: Textiles and Traditions of the Peruvian Highland Weavers” presents the arts and artisan members of the Center for the Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) through a 25-minute documentary video, Peruvian Weaving Revival by Janet Darrow, and five presentation boards of twenty actual samples of unique textile techniques the artisan’s work. Now in its second year, this self-contained program has been traveling the U.S. to fiber guilds or other groups who want an introduction to and education about Peruvian indigenous textiles and the skilled artisans who make them. If you’re interested in renting this fascinating and … Read More

Reviving the Paracas and Nazca Looping Technique

Andean Textile ArtsUncategorized

During Tinkuy 2017, twenty weavers from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) participated in a workshop on the Paracas and Nazca looping technique with two professors from Chile, Soledad Hoces de la Guardia and Ana María Rojas. In order to encourage the study of this pre-Colombian textile technique, looping became the theme for the CTTC annual competition this year. In a scant five months, two weavers who participated in the Tinkuy class taught workshops to a few members from each of the ten communities, who then returned to their communities to teach what they had learned. A competition was set among the communities with categories for adult weavers and young weavers. The external judging took place on August 15 … Read More