Saturday, February 10, 2018

Weaving for Carnaval

Active weaving for Carnaval
As we walk around Taquile Island these weeks, we hear the click-click-click of a highly polished llama bone against wood.
Women are working hard to create mantas and chuspas (coca purses) in time for next week's Carnaval Celebration.  The bone pounds in the threads of these very fine and tightly woven textiles.
Each thread of the double warp pattern is picked out by hand. Then pounded tightly into place with the llama bone. When Celbia was in the United States in 1988, teaching weaving workshops, one of her students wanted to buy her llama bone and she didn't want to sell it. Finally, when offered a substantial sum, she agreed. It is a very important tool.
Ruperta has a long way to go to finish these coca purses.
Kusi is almost finished.

It's pleasant to weave outdoors under a soft shade
Celbia' house has an easily installed shade cloth over a comfortable grassy area. Kusi, Celbia and Alicia get together to weave and chat.

Even more pleasant to weave together with friends.
Our youg girl friends are making themselves new chucos, the traditional head coverings, carefully pulling threads to create a multicolored border. We interrupt them to play volleyball, but they get right back to work after the break.

Below, Eufrasia finishes a detailed tisno, using her body as her loom. Attached to her waist and her toe, this portable loom is the first lesson of a young girl. Tisnos are traditionally used as straps for coca purses or to tie the chumpi (cummerbund), and now as wrist-ties for tourist souveniers. Sam and I have repurposed them as eyeglasses leashes.

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