The story starts in Chinchero, where I was born, very informally, in the 1980s. The Center is the result of a group of people, of the question: what’s the next step after learning to weave? So in the ‘90s we began, first we created the Centro Cultural Chinchero. We hadn’t yet legalized the organization, because during this time new ideas were arising. And we said, weaving was undergoing changes, strong changes, and it wasn’t just in Chinchero but also in other places.
So the idea arose that it would be better to form the Center, in Cusco, and then it could expand to whatever place we needed. And so the name Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco appeared, with a sole focus on traditional textiles.
That’s how it was born. The Center is for the rescuing of traditional textiles, to encourage the practice of ancestral weaving of Peru, and to pass it onto the next generation, to continue practicing it, creating their identity by way of traditional textiles.
It is difficult to explain the commercial part. It is the most difficult for us. The parts that are the documentation, research, publications, working with communities, with the weavers, introducing techniques to achieve quality, all those things are gratifying because it’s the passion where this project began. But the commercial part requires other instruments: taxes, equitable economic distribution in the communities, it is very hard.
But we cannot explain to each client how it functions. We have some texts that they could see how it functions. For whatever visitor I think it is difficult to know how it functions. But fortunately many foreigners know that it is a non-profit organization.
But even still, many of the people that visit us. It’s difficult for them to understand. Yes, it’s very complicated because the market demands things that perhaps people can use in their home.
Then we, with the Center, we do two types of work: one that’s commercial, using the same techniques, only varying the size, width and length, etc., but with the weavers we have an agreement that one time a year for at least a month a year they have to make their traditional textiles for their use, for their community. How they want to, with the colors that they say.
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