Entretejiendo el Pasado y el Futuro:
Artesanía Contemporánea de Tejedores Andinos
Weaving the Past Into the Future:
Contemporary Craft Among Andean Weavers
Exhibition Link: https://sites.google.com/uic.edu/tejedoresandinos
For thousands of years, Andean peoples have used a rainbow of dyes and fibers derived from natural — and in recent times, synthetic — sources. Since the Indigenous languages of Andean peoples are primarily oral in form, myths and legends have long been communicated and memorialized through weaving. Textiles have become important conduits and archives of not only history and religion but also of daily life. Although Spanish colonialism and global neo-colonialisms have threatened indigenous ways of life, native textile traditions have persisted.
Weaving the Past Into the Future: Contemporary Craft Among Andean Weavers highlights nine modern textiles sourced from the Central and South-Central Andes, made by weavers in Perú and Bolivia, some of which have named artists. Weaving collectives such as the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) and the Proyecto Artesanía Zona Andina (PAZA) play an important role in preserving traditional skills in the Andes. This exhibition refers to the history of these collectives, exploring how ancestral knowledge is adapted for contemporary use, thus ensuring the continuity of weaving traditions and Indigenous communities into the future.
Through the dyeing of fibers, the gathering and spinning of wool, the organization of labor, and the significance of local religions, this exhibition explores how the CTTC, PAZA, and weaving communities thread their pasts into the present, looking to weave a future on their terms. This bilingual and digital exhibition was created through a collaboration through the Field Museum of Natural History and a graduate class of MUSE students over the course of their semester.
Image Credit: © The Field Museum, Image No.T2015.10.6_front, Cat. No.T2015.10.6, Photographer Emma Turner-Trujillo. Design by Elisa Soto.