An Endless Thread

I was adding some photos to our Pinterest pages this week, which gave me the chance to look carefully at Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories, again.Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands I’ve read this book so many times, and I’m still fascinated by it, still learn something new each time. This book was one of Thrums’s earliest projects, published in cooperation with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), in 2007. Linda’s blog post, How a Book is Born tells the story.

A Shared Experience

Nilda Callañuapa Alvarez, the author and powerhouse director of the CTTC, writes in her introduction to the book, “Weaving is a living art, an expression of culture, geography, and history. It ties together with an endless thread the emotional life of my people. I hope this book will help you enter that world. I hope that as you see the continuity of history as reflected in our clothing, the profound skills that go into the creation of the cloth, and the deep cultural meanings of the patterns as they are passed down and evolve over time, that you will feel in some way a part of a shared human experience.”

Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands
Simeon Gutierrez and his family perform an alpaca fertility rite in Accha Alta, Peru.

Given the way this little book has gotten around, it’s clear that readers around the world have felt a part of that shared experience. Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands was featured this summer at the Folklife Festival marketplace  on the Mall in Washington D.C. where Nilda and her fellow weavers were a crowd favorite.

Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands
Weavers from Chinchero, Peru. Photo by A. Tim Wells.
Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands
Cipriana Mamani Ccorcca from Accha Alta, Peru, wearing traditional dress.

You will also find the book in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
It has been featured at the Dallas Art Museum as a companion to the exhibit Inca Conquest of the Andes on view now.
The Musical Instrument Museum (a fabulous global instrument museum in Phoenix, Arizona) had copies available as part of its “Experience the Andes” exhibit earlier this year.
Of course, you will find it at the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, and in Santa Fe at the annual International Folk Art Market where members of the CTTC represent the cultural history of their weaving communities. It’s heartening that this book continues to be featured in such a variety of venues, allowing wide audiences to enter the ancient world of Andean textile traditions.

An Endless Thread

It only made sense that a book about endless thread should have endless reach. Now it does. Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands is available for Kindle, Nook, and to download for all your favorite gadgets.
Of course, it’s available the other way, too–at ClothRoads, Powells, and Amazon. Enjoy.


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