Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes

Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, Christine Franquemont, photography by Joe Coca. Thrums (IPG, dist.), $34.95 (152p) ISBN 978-0-9838860-4-4
Callañaupa and Franquemont deftly capture Andean geography and the lives of its aging Cusco weavers in this vivid volume. Callañaupa learned weaving from her mother and elders in Chinchero, where she met Franquemont in the 1970s. Franquemont had relocated to Chinchero with her family from the U.S.; they later became registered members of the Chinchero community. Both women are currently crucial members in organizations promoting Andean textile arts. Their experience, research, and interviews, coupled with Coca’s dignified full-color portraits, pay homage to the survival of the weaving arts amidst the poverty and harsh elements endured by the country’s indigenous populations. The book examines elders in chapters divided by nine communities: Chinchero, Mahuaypampa, Accha Alta, Patabamba, Chahuaytire, Santa Cruz de Sallac, Pitumarca, Acopia, and Santo Tomas. Coca’s vibrant photographs illustrate the bright colors and elaborate textile patterns in contrast to the stark landscape of sparsely vegetated mountains. Each community and elder profile adds up to a tremendous record of enduring Andean culture as witnessed through textiles, weaving, and hands that never stop spinning. 175 color photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 12/01/2013
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