“My dream, to travel the world, to represent Lao culture – I’m an ambassador for Lao culture – for my traditions.” These is the desire of textile artisan Mrs. Kieng, a master weaver from Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang, Laos.
A Peru Event
In November of this year, Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, are organizing a four-day conference of weavers called Tinkuy, a Quechua word meaning gathering. (See here for the full schedule and list of events.)
During this four-day event, artisans and makers, historians and anthropologists, social entrepreneurs and community leaders, will immerse themselves in the past, present, and future of indigenous textile making. The Ock Pop Tok (OPT) artisans want to be included in this global community that shares their values.
For the last nine years, weavers from the Ock Pop Tok team have attended the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, NM. They know what it means to be part of a global movement, to be part of a larger whole. The OPT weavers come home to Laos after the Folk Art Market knowing they and their work are respected and of value. They believe attending Tinkuy will also add to deep cultural richness–sharing not only what they know but learning textile techniques and sharing common concerns with others around the world.
Funding a Dream
Going to Peru is a dream. It’s a big costly dream but they want to take eight weavers (more if possible) to Peru– Laos to Peru—that’s literally the other side of the world.
As American writer John Gardner said, “We know that where community exists it confers upon its member’s identity, a sense of belonging, and a measure of security… Communities are the ground-level generators and preservers of values and ethical systems.”
This is why they want to go to Tinkuy in Peru–to be part of a community that shares their artisan values. You can help their dream and learn more here: https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/send-a-weaver-to-peru
May the many threads of life continue to connect us. Thank you for your support.
Learn More About Ock Pop Tok
Ock Pop Tok is a social enterprise working in the fields of textiles and crafts in Laos. They are based in the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang, and are a founding member of the Lao Fair Trade Group. The philosophy behind Ock Pop Tok is to empower women through their traditional skills, as well as promoting the beauty of Laotian textiles across the globe.