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Weaving Lives, Engaging History: Continuing Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Andes opens in Kansas City
December 6, 2013 - February 21, 2014
This exhibit and related events will explore the vital traditions of weaving, spinning, dyeing, and knitting in Peruvian highland communities of the Center for Traditional Textile of Cusco, Peru (CTTC), directed by Nilda Callañaupa. The Trunk Show of CTTC textiles and El Mercado will highlight local artisans and various Latin American goods. Inspired by the holiday gift-giving season, this will be the perfect stop for any unique shopping list!
CTTC’s mission is to preserve, improve, and continue textile traditions of the highest quality, as well as to benefit the lives of the weavers and their families through fair trade sales. CTTC textiles, on exhibit at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery on 17th St. at Belleview, are made of handspun wool and alpaca in natural colors, woven on backstrap looms or knitted, following ancient traditions. In addition to weaving patterns, Callañaupa has revived the use of dyestuffs gathered in the fields. She meets students after school to encourage them in learning the traditions from their elders. Since childhood her life’s mission has been to preserve the rich textile tradition of Cusco as she noticed that many weaving techniques were in danger of dying off with their elderly practitioners. Through her investigations and the vehicle of tourism studies, she established a basis for building towards the CTTC’s status as a textile center, non-profit shop, and museum. Now ten remote communities in southern Peru are members of CTTC. “They must organize and elect a president,” in order to join says Callañaupa. She personally travels to each community on a regular basis to teach, train, and encourage them in their endeavors. Tourists are welcome to arrange visits to the communities on workshop days.