The ancient art of Puno’s weave in Taquile
- Published on Jul 28, 2017 Culture
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Weavers who spin their way to success
In the highest navigable lake in the world there is a strange paradise at 3,800 meters above the sea level called “Taquile island”. In this magical place, men, women and children weave fine accessories of alpaca fiber and cotton on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
A weaver from Taquile elaborates alpaca fiber accessories on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Puno.
The manufacture of these ancestral textiles has an antiquity of 4500 years. At the beginning, the purpose of this activity was to make baskets and mats; but with time, part of the textile production was destined to fine and luxurious gifts for the Inca nobility, making these looms an ancient art.
Back then, they used a technique called “The horizontal loom” that consisted in a loom formed by two rods that were placed in parallel. At their ends four stakes were tied and on these, the threads were stretched from side to side, among which crossed other threads creating the weave.
Part of the process of creating garments with woven alpaca in Puno
Nowadays, this ancestral technique has been inherited and is taught to young children from an early age. They first learn to weave colored ribbons, which will later be sold in Puno’s market. Gradually, they make the weave more complex, adding more designs and colors. Its more commercial and colorful pieces are chullos, belts and scarfs.
Some samples of the clothes created by the people of Taquile, Puno.
In 2005, Taquile textile art was proclaimed by Unesco a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” Later, in 2007, Mario Testino launched a collection created by Taquile weavers in New York, Spain and France that appeared on the famous fashion magazine Vogue cover.
Nowadays, thousands of tourists travel to Puno to learn more about this ancient art that has left more than one of them astonished by its beauty and expertise. If you travel to Puno, do not hesitate to visit these artists and live all the magic that this ancestral art hides.