Weaving the Universe in Chiapas

Chiapas is a mystery and a land of contradictions. Geographically, it ranges from the deep, sweaty Lacandon rainforest to the high, cold, encircling Sierra Madres. Spiritually, it’s traditional Roman Catholicism with holy mass one day, and chicken sacrifices in the corner of the church the next. It’s European saints’ effigies dressed in layers of handwoven […]

Visions of Bolivia

No, we’re not going anywhere. It might be a long time. And honestly, I’m getting a little tired of being urged to watch travel films or read travel blogs as a substitute for the real thing. But here I go. This time last year I was in Bolivia, loving everything about that country, from the […]

Crafting with Grace

Accha Alta Accha Alta is a small community high in the Peruvian Andes. To arrive there, you drive up steep switchbacks on a single-track road, past ancient Inca storage structures, and alpacas foraging on almost nonexistent vegetation. Or you walk. In spite of, or maybe because of, their remoteness and sparse lifestyle, the villagers of […]

A Clan of Weaving Elders

Elders

When Lynda Pete or Barbara Ornelas greet you with the naming of their clans, they’re greeting you on behalf of their extended family: grandmothers, aunts, children, grandchildren. Their clans wrap them in the warm blanket of their history and culture, their lives. I’ve been thinking about the Elder women of their clans who appear in […]

Wrapped in the Flag

How many national flags in the world? It depends on whom you ask. Maybe 194, or 197, and it can change at any moment as national governments and boundaries rearrange themselves. Add to that state and regional flags, organizational flags, holiday flags—the list is endless. In every case, a flag is just a rectangle of […]

Embroidering the Future in Afghanistan

Rangina Hamidi is a world-class problem solver. This becomes abundantly clear as you read her personal story in Embroidering Within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future, co-authored with Mary Littrell. When the problem was women in Kandahar, often widowed with no means of support and always sequestered, she founded Kandahar Treasure. This allowed women to […]

Weaving Is Life

AroundtheWorld

Do handknitted mittens turn away the evil eye in Estonia? Well, maybe. How do you spin pineapple fiber into thread for piña cloth? You don’t. (You just tie single fine strands together.) Can you make Miao shiny cloth without pigs’ blood? Yes you can. Egg whites are an option, or if you’re vegan, maybe yellow […]

And The Dead Start Jumping for Joy

Sometimes a scary story is just the thing. Sometimes doubling down on a messy reality with more of the same throws things into perspective. Know what I mean? The Maya were masters of the horrible. Not for them those sylph-like goddesses arising from seashells or descending from rainbows. Nope, their deities were more likely to […]

Pijbil Weaving in Guatemala–Elegant in Every Way

Enjoy this story of Amalia Guë, a beautiful, steadfast earth mother of a woman, featured in Deborah Chandler’s Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives. I cannot forget visiting her six years ago when we were working on the book: shafts of sunlight coming through cracks in the walls to illuminate the fine work […]

Every Rug Tells A Story

Every Rug

Our minds and hearts have been in the Navajo Nation in recent weeks, as we have put finishing touches on our new book, How To Weave a Navajo Rug and Other Lessons From Spider Woman (available in October). We’ve also worried and grieved as we hear news of how hard-hit the Navajos have been by […]

Malcare WordPress Security