Saving the Story of Cloth

Textile Museum of Canada

When we touch the time and place of cloth, we begin to know the story of its maker. When we preserve that cloth, we are preserving our collective stories—our celebrations, our suffering, our families, our culture and history. Thrums Books would like to acknowledge important institutions around the globe who diligently work to preserve traditional […]

A New Generation

Chamula, Chiapas Next Generation

Much of the work of Thrums Books has been to document endangered traditions. Much of the focus has been on “last generations”—those elders whose children have gotten some education and fled to the cities. So it’s been a real pleasure these last few weeks to work with a young woman who lives and breathes her cultural […]

When Cultures Collide, Good Things Can Happen

Guatemala Rug Hooking project

Cultural Enterprise Back in 2012, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she helped launch an organization aimed at preserving and elevating traditional crafts. The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise (AAE) now has members operating in sixty-nine countries, creating jobs, increasing income, enhancing cultural heritage, and promoting development in ways that are respectful of the people and […]

Traveling Chiapas: The Perfect Bag

  A Gem From The Chiapas Archives This story has two parts. It starts when I was in a tourist shop in Eastern Mexico in 1997. Flung on the shelf amid the usual stuff—bright pottery, Aztec gods, naughty little clay figures, painted wooden jaguars—was this bag. “Cuanto questa?” I asked in my pathetic high school […]

Huipils and Magic: Memories of Mexico

huipil, Chiapas, Mexico

Handmade in Chiapas As Maya huipils go, those from Oxchuc in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico are not my personal favorites. They’re characterized by bold graphic stripes, often crimson on white, with odd embroidered points at the neckline. Chip Morris, author of Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas, argued that the points should be […]

Maya World

When Linda Ligon proposed recently that I work as the associate publisher for Thrums Books, I couldn’t believe my luck. How fabulous would it be to help make those brilliant books and introduce them to the world? What I’ve always loved about Thrums books is the view they offer into the lives of indigenous people, telling their stories, their history, […]

The Perfect Bag: Part One

This story has two parts. It starts when I was in a tourist shop in Eastern Mexico in 1997. Flung on the shelf amid the usual stuff—bright pottery, Aztec gods, naughty little clay figures, painted wooden jaguars—was this bag. “Cuanto questa?” I asked in my pathetic high school Spanish. “Not for sale,” the shop girl […]

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