Tradition Translated

A New Vision of the World

In the introduction to A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas, author Chip Morris writes that Maya women are “Creating new visions of themselves and the world, visions that are affirmations of tradition translated into something new, resilient, and hopeful.” Of course, he’s talking specifically about Maya weavers, but I’ve thought a lot recently about this idea of tradition translated.

Chenalho Huipil
A Maya woman from Chenalho, Chiapas.

In a way, that’s what Thrums Books does. We are telling the story of traditional textiles, translating the work and beauty and everyday lives of indigenous artisans into pages of text and photographs. These translations teach and inspire readers around the world. As awareness of these traditions grows, greater is the hope that they will be sustained. As artisans gain better recognition and their work increased value, the more resilient they and their home communities might become.

A New Translation

So it seemed that the next logical step in continuing the celebration of textile traditions, was to translate our books into digital format so that anybody anywhere could access them. A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas by Chip Morris with Alfredo Martinez, Janet Schwartz, and Carol Karasik,  is our first title to make its way into digits, but stay tuned, more are on the way. You can download it now to your Kindle, your Nook, your laptop, or phone. You can fetch it at and Kobo, and loads of other places, too.

A girl from Santa Marta, Chiapas, wearing an embroidered huipil.

I like to imagine a traveler wandering through, say Santa Marta, in Chiapas, who can access and consult A Textile Guide on her favorite device—the same device that she’s already using to take pictures of huipils and to make videos of weavers and spinners to send back to jealous friends at home. How cool is that? Not to mention convenient and practical.

So now, to my list of  places around the world where you can find Thrums Books, I’m adding “everywhere.”


ChiapasCover F_1And of course you can still buy the print version, among other places, at ClothRoads or Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Tradition Translated

  1. JOHN HODGSON says:

    Wonderful book, I encourage people who like this to also check out other book put out by Walter Morris and friends- Living Maya (2000) and Maya Threads:A Woven History of Chiapas (2015).

Comments are closed.

Malcare WordPress Security