Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


Quechua Weavings as living art in the Andes today represent the contemporary textiles as result of transition of Pre-Colombian textiles of South America a textile tradition at least 2000 years. In Peru, after the Spanish arrival of 1532-33, many traditional arts were systematically replaced or mixed with European art styles. Fortunately, however, the strong tradition of backs trap loom weaving has survived.

Many changes have occurred in our traditional patterns, but a wide range of warp patterned techniques have today developed into the richest and most extraordinary dress that Andean villagers have known. Indigenous people living in outlying communities today wear even finer and more complex woven textiles than their Inca forebears. Of course, I am not talking about the textiles woven for the Inca Emperor and nobility, but of Andean village weavings. Today we express in weavings our sacred landscape-the rituals and traditions associated with lakes, rivers, mountains, the flora and fauna of our high slopes, the shapes of our fields, our history. A few patterns now even include psychological associations.