Date of this Version
Published in Hidden Stories/Human Lives: Proceedings of the Textile Society of America 17th Biennial Symposium, October 15-17, 2020. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/
Wool weaving has been practiced in the Venezuelan Andean region for centuries, specifically at the Paramo ecosystem. This activity was introduced by the Spaniards and shaped by the relation of its inhabitants with the environment, warm clothing needs, climate, and the isolation of the place. Blankets and ruanas have been made traditionally on elementary handlooms by weavers who still use handspun wool, cotton, and natural dyes. Beauty in simplicity has built a singular aesthetic to be worn within the mist of the mountains. This paper intends to share a personal encounter of the authors with the community of weavers, spinners, dyers, sheep breeders, farmers, the landscape, and the culture of the Venezuelan Andes through wool-fiber weaving. A visual journey of this encounter will be discussed to illustrate and appreciate the way of life and textile making of the Paramo people and their silent experience.