Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.


Copyright 2012 by the author(s).


In honor of our dear friend and colleague, the respected textile researcher Elayne Zorn, we have shaped six presentations around several interrelated political themes: heritage, identity, status, cultural continuity and economic sustainability, especially for the indigenous women and men who make the cloth. The titles and the themes draw inspirations from Elayne’s book Weaving a Future, published in 2004. The first three papers address these issues in relationship to Andean societies of the past, using artifacts and archaeological and historical perspectives. The final three papers, while concerned with broadly similar issues, focus on prospects for the future and explore how weavers, and other textile artists, shape their futures as strongly related to tourism, education of foreigners, and national politics. Together these presentations explore ancient and contemporary Andean textiles as contextual messengers and powerful symbols of status and political affinities as well as how current decisions are affecting the future of textile Andean traditions.