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 […]

Their Daily Lives

This story could have been written yesterday, or it could have been written 200 years ago. Life can be painfully hard, or joyously fortunate, but life goes on. This story is excerpted from a book we published in 2013, Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes, and details the life of a typical Elder […]

Our Own Private World Wide Web

Oaxaca Stories in Cloth

If life hadn’t taken an unexpected pivot, we would be in China right now with a group of friends. This very day, we would have been visiting a village that specializes in folded embroidery (my favorite kind), and we would be on our way to a workshop in that technique and others at the Sun […]

With a Little Help from My Friends

When I think of the Peruvian highlands, one of the first images that comes to mind is a steep and winding dirt road with switchbacks stretching out as far as the eye can see, and mid-vision, a tiny figure walking along at a steady pace. She’s wearing her many skirts (for warmth), and her beautifully […]

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