Re-visiting Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

I’ve been negligent about posting a new blog, but since December I have been leading tours for Mayan Hands, a wonderful way to share Guatemala, fair trade, and weaving, always with interesting people, mostly women, many textile-makers.

Ana Ceto, weaver of ceremonial huipils
Ana Ceto, weaver of ceremonial huipils

Now Tere and I are on the verge of a new adventure. Come Tuesday (Feb, 23, 2016) we will be leading a tour based entirely on the book, taking people to meet the artisans in the book. This first group is half made up of people from Cloth Roads, Thrums, Interweave Press – you know, family. It will be a good experiment and we are looking forward to it.

The artisans come from sufficiently far and wide that we could not visit all of them. Picking and choosing took

Ana Pu, wool spinner
Ana Pu, wool spinner

into account not only where they live but how readily they can receive visitors,  what languages they speak, how their health is holding up (sadly, two of the artisans have died since we wrote the book, others are old and/or ill), and other factors.  The final itinerary includes visiting seven artisans plus the work of one more, traversing approximately 600 km. of twisty turny up and down mountain roads, visiting Mayan ruins and markets, enjoying dinners from the simple to the sublime, and being blessed with clean beds every night. What more could anyone want?

Amalia Güe weaves pijbil on a backstrap loom.
Amalia Güe weaves pijbil on a backstrap loom.

When we get back there will be more stories to tell, not only about how the artisans’ lives have marched on, but how they felt about having visitors who already “knew” them, and who brought with them textile techniques from far away places that the Guatemalan artisans have never seen before. It is going to be really interesting, and I can hardly wait!


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