Braiding with Nilda Callanaupa. This sounds simple enough … well it wasn’t! It is a lot mind boggling to understand the different ways one can manipulate any number of strands to form a single length and at the same time make it interesting, or even beautiful. We only learned three different braids and that was a challenge. Then because we were greedy for punishment, we asked to learn how to make this amazing tubular cord that often decorates the edges of many of the articles produced in the Cusco region. This cord is actually made using a backstrap weaving method. Only four different rows to learn and two of the four are basically ‘free’ which means there is little work to do with those two. Sounds easy? Not exactly, but Nilda came with very clear directions for us to follow and that was the saving grace of the exercise. I don’t understand how I managed to not get a photo of Nilda, but that is the truth. A website that explains The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and Nilda’s work there, check it out! To say that the most wonderful weaving is done here is an understatement. I did have to come home with a cushion, vest and a camera strap.
To see all the Peru pictures click here.