Semana Santa

Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter, is a time of amazement and passion in Latin America. I’ve had the good fortune to be in Chiapas for this special time once, and in Guatemala twice. The memories are vivid and indelible. Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala It’s early morning before dawn, and a throng of people […]

Fiber Communities in Peril

EDITOR’S NOTE: The transition of Thrums Books to Schiffer Publications is complete, but my passion for books and the shared experiences they invite us into has not waned. I’ll continue to write as my internal thrummings compel me. Thanks for reading. THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE When I was eight years old my family moved […]

Wrapped in the Flag

How many national flags in the world? It depends on whom you ask. Maybe 194, or 197, and it can change at any moment as national governments and boundaries rearrange themselves. Add to that state and regional flags, organizational flags, holiday flags—the list is endless. In every case, a flag is just a rectangle of […]

Pijbil Weaving in Guatemala–Elegant in Every Way

Enjoy this story of Amalia Guë, a beautiful, steadfast earth mother of a woman, featured in Deborah Chandler’s Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives. I cannot forget visiting her six years ago when we were working on the book: shafts of sunlight coming through cracks in the walls to illuminate the fine work […]

I Am Still Here

To know a Maya woman in Guatemala is to know resilience. A Maya woman has an undeniable strength, despite poverty, despite discrimination, despite the obstacles in her path. It is a strength that allows her to keep her children fed and to negotiate an uncertain future. This story of Maya artist Bartola Morales is an […]

Follow the Leader

leader

“A leader is a person capable of always giving a little more in everything they do in helping and contributing to the well-being of the group and the community. A leader tries to be as humane as possible to resolve conflicts. A leader must be a responsible, honest and sincere person. A leader accepts constructive […]

Halfway to Heaven: Travels in Guatemala

heaven

In addition to writing stellar books herself, Thrums author Deborah Chandler has recommended many a good book to me, from the novels of Miguel Asturias to Diné bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story by Paul Zolbrod. Last fall she gave me a collection of poems, Seated on the Bank of the Yichk’u River by Maya writer […]

Follow That Thread

Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

Thrums Books has been a longtime fan of Friendship Bridge, the wonderful organization dedicated to empowering the lives of women in Guatemala. The San Antonio Friendship Bridge Circle will host its annual fundraiser trunk show and sale on October 19. In preparation for this important day, San Antonio Circle member Susan Albert sent us this […]

Celebrating Latino Culture

latino culture

Author Deborah Chandler (Traditional Weavers of Guatemala and A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala) was a recent guest at El Museo Latino in Omaha, Nebraska. She shared with us a little bit about the museum, its current exhibition, and her time there. Thanks, Deborah!     Thirty years ago, Magdalena Garcia was in graduate school […]

Facing up to the Likeness

My mother-in-law looked Chinese. This petite, pure Okie born and bred Caucasian lady—I thought of her so often when I was traveling in China recently, because I saw her double everywhere. How could that be? Each of us is unique, face-wise. When I passed through immigration in Beijing, the clever machine that checked my identity […]

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