Sunday, June 19, 2011

There Really Are No New Ideas!

It is such a hardship, but I had to take daughter #1 to Santa Fe a few days ago. She is going to be testing for her third degree Brown belt in karate soon and she needed to work with her head instructor. It's about a 5 hour drive from SW Colorado, so we stayed over one night.
What is a mom to do all day in Santa Fe New Mexico? I didn't hang around the karate studio, I'll tell you that. Instead, I headed up to Museum Hill and browsed the textiles at the International Folk Art Museum.
There was an interesting exhibit on the folk art of the Andes region in South America.

Apparently, "Made in China" knock offs are nothing new. Way back in the mid 1800's, Peruvian Folk Art was sent to China to be replicated and returned to South America for souvenirs for the growing tourist trade!  

How does an Arabic style bag called an al-khurj finds its way to the high mountains of South America? Well, In the Crusades, Spain took on much of its Muslim conquers, and brought the Arabic influence with them when they conquered the New World. 

This is a huge embroidered tapestry (2007)  from the village of Chijnaya in Puno, Peru, depicting daily life. Note the Catholic church's road side alters and the local festival depicted.
Okay.... what kind of loom are these ladies using- I always assumed that an upright loom was used in South America like the Navajo looms- this looks like some kind of a floor loom- anyone knowledgeable?

The Spanish conquers also deemed the tradition dress of the Natives inappropriate and encouraged them to dress like lower class pheasants from Spain. Of course local styles did not go away entirely, so now the local dress of the women of the Andes, still has a little of their original culture. I always wondered the origins of the little ladies in Mexico who sell the boxes of chicklets- though from a different region of South America I think - they are very similar to this lady's dress.

And the embroidery!! Gorgeous !

Also adopted from their Spanish conquers, but then adapted to their own culture.
Also learned that "Bring your own bag" is also nothing new!

Ladies will carry these little squares of fabric and use them to bundle things at the market, or to lay down on the ground for picnics. Kinda of reminds me of the Girl Scout bandanas we were encouraged  to carry which could be tied to a hobo stick, used in first aid, protects your head from the sun, etc, etc, etc.
And bigger sacks are needed to transport anything on a llama!


  1. Gosh, Julia, I am so homesick now! I lived in Santa Fe for 10 years (until I remarried and relocated in 2009)and that was one of my fave hangouts. I need to get back there more often!

  2. Anonymous9:24 PM

    Wonderful. Looks like a photo page 19 from the art of bolivian highland weaving. Aymara four stake horizontal loom staked into ground. With weaver picking pattern above the crossbar.

  3. Hi, Julia --

    I just discovered your interesting blog -- thank you for the description of the textiles at the Folk Art Museum. Looks like I need to head back!