I am from Chinchero, I am a weaver, and learned to weave at the age of eight thanks to my grandmother’s instruction, also named Rosa, who taught me to weave and learn all about textiles.
When I began to weave, I began to weave with very small pieces called jakimas, which are woven to perfect the weaving technique and to learn and memorize the techniques, and also how the process of weaving works. Little by little I advanced. When you learn more weavings you can advance on to weave bigger things.
Well, now I work with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. I am a salesperson. My work consists of showing tourists the types of weaving that we have.
The Center works with ten communities. Then sometimes there are tourists that ask about what they want to know: designs, colors. They want to know where is the technique from, what materials are they. Then, my works consists of showing the tourist what weaving is about, the weaving. What type of technique is done, what uses did they have in the past, how were they used then and now, in the present day, how they can be used, and these and other questions that tourists have.
Different kinds of tourists have visited us. For example, there some are tourists that want to buy things that they can use. They can have purses, belts, that they can bring, that they will use. But there are others who take decorations, they are going to put those a house or living room. Or there are people who are great historians or people that have done studies and want to know more about the designs.
There are some tourists that come today, they enter the store and see that the prices are in dollars and it is expensive. Then we say there are pieces that we say cost like $500 and surely will cost like $200. Then they always say, “But why is it so expensive?”
Then we try to explain and say that this weaving is hand-made, that a weaver made it, and the dyes that we use are vegetable-based, which is not damaging for the environment nor for one’s health.
Another is that these weavings, a weaver is going to make it and it takes time, and we, what we want is for the weaver to be paid a just wage for her work.
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