Author: Dorinda Dutcher

Dorinda Dutcher Casilla 837 Cochabamba, Bolivia, S. America dkdutcher@hotmail.com

WANTED: 2018 TNNA Spinzilla Sponsor

2017 Spinzilla Spinning Week, Huancarani

Please pass the word that the Bolivian team the Warmis Phuskadoras (Women Spinners) is in need of a TNNA sponsor for the 2018 Spinzilla Spinning Week. This is a super opportunity for a TNNA member who has an affinity for the Andean textile traditions. What better way to develop a personal relationship with rural spinners/weavers? Expenses have been met annually thanks to social media help rallying support for the team. Information about the team is archived on the blog during the months of September and October going back to the team’s first competition in 2014. All spinning is done with phuskas (drop spindles) which is a central activity in the fading rural way of life. The Warmis Phuskadoras love competing and socializing during Spinning Week.

If you are interested or would like further information, please contact Dorinda Dutcher who coordinates the team in Bolivia. dkdutcher@hotmail.com. Dorinda Dutcher, February 27, 2018

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Fiber Arts February

Jhesica With a Water Color Portrait She Painted

Annual registration for the Club de Artesanas (CdA) is in February after the women and teens settle back into Independencia following Carnaval. The CdA chicas lost teen trainer Abigail who now lives with a family in the city providing child care part time and attending high school. Jhesica who will turn 16 this year has begun her second year as a teen trainer and was thrilled to receive a wage increase.  Each of the 3 teens from last year invited a younger friend to join and many bring young siblings so there is a lot of youthful exuberance on Saturdays.

Adviana & Her 2 Youngest During 2017 Spinning Week

The CdA women will miss Adviana who has been a devoted member since 2012. She and her family migrated to the city during the vacation. She entered the Club as a timid 17 year old mother and through the years she learned to weave and was completing orders regularly to earn income to care for her 3 little ones. It was mainly because of her that the waiting list was added so more spinners could enjoy Spinzilla Spinning Week in 2017. She begged to spin, but not being up to speed with the older women the wait list was implemented to accommodate and encourage her and 2 other young spinners. May her self confidence that grew through the years of CdA activities and with the support and friendship of the other Club women enable her to transition successfully to life in the city.

Surya, Teens & Their Siblings Posing with Printed T-Shirts

Club attendance was low in February because of women and teens spending much of the month in their rural communities. That allowed Surya, the visiting artist, to work one on one with Club members as well as with groups. Doña Máxima learned to embroider in primary school and on her first embroidered piece working with Surya she learned new stitches but her designs continued to be just outlines. On her second piece she made the leap to use newly learned stitches to fill in her designs and kept then kept stopping to admire and show off the results.

Dye Day Results

Surya taught two of the teens how to use the sewing machine, including using the instruction book as a resource when there is a question or problem. Nelva had finished a beaded embroidery piece under Suyra’s tutelage which she sewed into a bag. Veronica learned to sew by making a small shoulder bag with a button closure and a zippered pencil bag. The teens also learned about perspective in drawing and had fun with water colors. Suyra had brought all the supplies to teach screen printing and worked with the teens for 2 months ending with the final project of a printed t-shirt.

Surya at the Loom

The weavers of Huancarani began dropping off skeins to be dyed as rainy season is dye season. The Club held a dye day to take care of the accumulating skeins from the Huancarani weavers. The dye pot of suyku leaves produced light and dark greens skeins. Fresh turmeric root had been purchased from a sidewalk vendor in Cochabamba in October, and although roots were beginning to sprout once mashed up one dye pot of vibrant orange skeins was produced. The turmeric pot was mixed into the fifth dye bath of cochineal to dye skeins a rich dark orange.

Embroidery Projects… Notice Use of Weaving and Thrums on Surya’s Piece

Surya taught a batik workshop to Vilma and Doña Maxima and they experimented on cotton cloth, silk scarves, and cotton t-shirts with varying degrees of success. The leftover dye pot of the turmeric and cochineal was almost exhausted so further experimentation will take place with stronger dye pots on the upcoming dye days.

Doña Maxima´s 2nd Work with Filled-In Designs & Another of Suyra’s Fun Contemporary Pieces

Surya, is the second volunteer in 8 years to take advanced classes from Doña Maxima and complete a weaving on the loom. She is the first volunteer to weave the cloth, strap, and border to assemble a ch´upsita (small shoulder bag). It is surprising there are not more weavers who have visited to take classes with Doña Máxima to learn traditional Andean weaving techniques. Surya taught embroidery stitches and worked on her own pieces for an exhibition at the Kiosko Galería in Santa Cruz Bolivia beginning on March 15th. She cunningly incorporated an end piece of her weaving and used the thrums as embroidery threads, which was a tug of war with each one because of their rough texture. However, the results were stunning with the natural dyed wool blending together for a natural looking portrait.

Surya Explaining How Her Visit Influenced Her Art Which Will be Exhibited

The PAZA order that will be traveling to the U.S. the end of April is almost complete. It is a bit early to be without an order for the weavers, so any preorders for the woven cloth which are the fajas (70” x 5” bands, $38), weavings (63” x 9.5”, $68), zippered pouches ($16), zippered pouches with a wrist strap ($17), or yoga mat straps ($22/$23) will enable additional orders to be placed over the next 2 months. The sizing may seem odd, but the weavers work in centimeters not inches, well except for Doña Dionicia who at 86 years of age gets away with using hand spans instead of a measuring tape. The weavings that are 63” x 9.5” were sized to be cut up to make 6 zippered bags. If you need a different sized weaving for a project you may place a special order. Contact Dorinda at dkdutcher@hotmail.com for further information or to place an order. Dorinda Dutcher, February 27, 2018

The Weavings of February

Musicians in Bayeta Pants Sporting Chulos, Chuspitas, and Aguayos

There was just a week between the beginning of the academic year and returning to vacation mode for the week of Carnaval. The Independencia Carnaval parade and dance competition is the best time to view traditional weavings. The traditional clothing is loosely woven wool (bayeta cloth) pants for the men and polleras (skirts) for the women. Last July, when asked about what topics to include in the Tinkuy presentation the women of Huancarani began talking about bayeta and their youth that preceded purchased ready to wear clothing. The men constructed the looms and wove the cloth. The women spun cotton for the heddle strings, which was the only time they spun cotton. Finding an example of a loom to take photos has so far proven elusive because of the tradition of burning the possessions of an individual upon their death.

New Carnaval Entry, The Peaked Chulos are Not Local

The small chuspitas (shoulder bags) served as pockets for the men to carry coca leaf, which most still chew when working in the fields as well as being part of Andean rituals. The chuspitas for celebrations such as Carnaval are always woven with brightly dyed acrylic yarn often with embedded double weave designs on the bag and the strap. A few of the male musicians sported old fajas (belts) of double weave. The male musicians and female dancers all wore aguayos (square cloth for carrying loads on one’s back) and the majority of them appeared to be the 2 piece handwoven aguayos as opposed to the one piece inexpensive factory made aguayo. The competing rural communities had around 20 minutes to play the piercingly shrill music and dance in the plaza for the judges, authorities and spectators.

Warming Up to Strike

This year all were treated to a new entry. Five men walked into the plaza in traditional clothing playing instruments. One had a pile of purple, red, and pink dyed sheep skins on his back. Hmmmm, very curious….  After a short interview in Quechua with a radio reporter the man bearing the sheepskins hefted them onto his head. One of his companions unwound a coil of unskinned leather from his waist. It was like a whip except for the small basket woven onto the end containing rocks. After a few overhead lasso type swings the basket of rocks

The Strike

smacked into the sheepskins. When the rock slinger missed he took the sheepskins to protect his head so that his friend could demonstrate his skill aiming and striking with the rock ended whip. Slings were the preferred weapons of the Incas and today a braided llama fiber sling can usually be spotted in the waistband of a rural woman out pasturing her sheep. Doña Maxima remembers that when she was a girl in Huancarani  slings were one of the trade items that the highland traders would bring when they arrived with their llama trains to trade for corn.

With a Big Smile Doña Maxima Poses with Her Aguayo

During Carnaval week, Doña Maxima was thrilled to finally finish the aguayo she began 10 months ago in the hope that it would debut at the Tinkuy last November. The weaving was slow going and she lamented more than once that she wished she had begun with just one column of embedded double weave designs in each half instead of two. The photo shows the 4 columns of embedded double weave design with the decorative stitch that joins the two woven halves of the aguayo together. She learned the technique from her mother-in-law and sister-in-law when she moved into their house with her husband at age 16. She said they were a family of weavers and she felt obligated to improve her weaving to their level.

The 4 Columns of Embedded Double Weave

A local non-profit organization that had partnered with Independencia´s cultural center held their 1st Feria of Artesanía Nativa in the plaza last Sunday. In January free acrylic yarn was handed out through the Organizations of Women in many communities and the Feria was an exhibition and sales opportunity for the results of the weaving with that yarn. The brightly colored made in China yarn was considered “gold” when it first made its appearance and began replacing the handspun aniline dyed local wool. Now the bright happy colors are considered traditional for Carnaval and other celebrations so there is a local market. Four of the Huancarani weavers

Feria of Weavings with Acrylic Yarn, Doña Justina is Smiling at the Far Right

had a table including Doña Justina who went to the Tinkuy. Her sales technique on her home ground was much more animated and she was pleased to have sold a belt and a chulo (Andean knitted cap with ear flaps). One observation was the low number of participants which could be a stark indication of the dwindling number of rural weavers.

The non-profit organization had approached PAZA about collaborating, but there would have been an unrealistic expectation for PAZA to provide the market. Looking back on 11 years of sales and marketing successes and failures PAZA is wary of partnering with any organization lacking sales experience. It was heartening to see an effort being made locally to support the rural weavers. Dorinda Dutcher, February 26, 2018

Annual Meeting & Spinzilla Celebration

Hauling Meat Tray to the Oven

The annual Centro de Artesanía, Huancarani (CAH) meeting and Spinzilla Celebration were held outside under brooding clouds. Once again, Doña Toribia donated her wood burning oven and it was fired up before the contingent from Independencia arrived with the 49 pounds of beef cutlets, a first time veggie option, tomatoes, oil, condiments, and sodas for the feast.  Weavers arrived singly or in pairs dragging branches for firewood or with an aguayo filled with just harvested potatoes or onions. Doña Toribia donated iceberg lettuce for the salad which is rarely seen and never for sale in the Independencia market. All set about prepping the food and laying it in metal trays. Branches of the

Mudding the Wood Burning Oven Closed

th’ola shrub were cut and tied to a branch to sweep the oven´s brick bottom clear of ash. Potatoes were tossed inside, the trays were set on top of them, and the oven cover which had been fashioned from the end of a metal 55 gallon drum was sealed shut with mud.

The women settled on the ground for the annual CAH meeting with one eye on the rain falling in the mountains to the south. A new Board of Directors was elected, Doña Justina stepped down as President after 4 years of doing an excellent job of coordinating with PAZA for workshops, meetings, and Spinzilla activities. Twenty year old Maribel took over as Secretary, because she can read and write she will set an example for the future of that Board position. Two new members joined CAH and both are younger than the median age of 60 for the members.

2018 Annual CAH Meeting, Huancarani

The weavers voted to establish an “honorable member” category to waive the annual membership fee for elderly women who no longer spin or weave but enjoy the social occasions the CAH offers. Doña Teodora, who hasn´t woven in decades because of a poorly healed broken shoulder, was CAH´s first honorary member.The new CAH banner was unveiled and all declared it to be beautiful. The intent was to have it made in time to take to the Tinkuy, but the 2 piece pole was so long that it was impractical for travel. It will be marched around the soccer field in Huancarani in the civic day parades.

Doña Teodora with her Photogenic Smile

The vote was unanimous to continue competing in Spinzilla Spinning Week. They asked, “Why wouldn´t we? We spin almost every day anyway and we like winning a prize”. They voted to raise their registration fee 5 Bs. from $1.44 to $2.16 per participant.

The New CAH Banner

Time was spent discussing whether or not to raise the price of the weavings and a vote for a small increase was passed. Thanks to Laverne Waddington the fajas (4-1/2” x 71” bands) are gaining popularity with U.S. weavers who purchase them to design and cut up for their own projects. The 2018 price was raised from $35 to $38. The price for a kilo of handspun yarn went from $10 to $11.50.

Viewing the Tinkuy Photos

Doña Máxima and Doña Justina spoke about their Tinkuy experiences and photos were passed around. The women were able to put a face with the name they hear many times during Spinzilla and that person is Marilyn Murphy of Cloth Roads who has sponsored the Bolivian team for 4 years. There were also photos of Doña Máxima and Doña Justina presenting thank you weavings to longtime supporters Lyn Lucas and Dorothy Thursby. The photo of Karen Sprenger at the exhibition table with Doña Justina and Doña Maxima was appropriate because she´s been instrumental in helping with sales of the inventory stored in Kansas.

Doña Narciza Receives Her Shawl and Spinzilla Photo

The meeting adjourned and the moment all had been waiting for arrived with the handing out of the shawls, the 2017 Spinzilla prize for all participants. Doña Máxima and her daughter Zoraida had selected and purchased the cloth in Cochabamba. The material was divided between Zoraida and the CdA members so they could earn a wage by crocheting the borders and adding fringe, thus personalizing each shawl. Unfortunately, a group photo was not taken because the wind picked up and the clouds had darkened.

The 1 hour and 40 minute meeting coincided with the exact time needed for all to be pulled out of the oven cooked to perfection. Many of the women bagged up their meal and headed home hoping to stay ahead of the rain. The meal was a hurried affair as the rain rolled implacably towards the group. In the end all scurried to clean up and head home. Doña Narciza commented a few weeks later that the new shawls came in handy as a warm layer against the cold rain for her and her neighbors who had a long trek home. Thanks again to everyone who supported the Bolivian Spinzilla team! Dorinda Dutcher, January 8th, 2018

Kicking Off The Year With Arts & Crafts

Embroidering, Drawing, and Painting with Surya

Embroidering, making piñatas, drawing, water coloring, and the Fiesta de Don Jorge made for a busy January for the Club de Artesanas (CdA). Under the tutelage of artist-in-residence, Suyra de Wit, the CdA women, teens, and kids were all thrilled to spend the 2nd month of the school vacation busily occupied with art projects. The first project Surya introduced was embroidering a design of choice. The embroidery of flowers as a required project at the local primary school has been replaced by fabric painting. The 3 girls completed their embroidery and with help from Suyra made small shoulder bags to showcase their work. The teens chose to use beads from the jewelry making kit to embroider their designs. The intent focus of the 2 boys over their embroidery hoops was a surprise. Doña Maxima commented that she liked the textural possibilities by combining known embroidery stitches with the new stitches she learned from Surya.

3 Happy Girls with New Bags

Preparation for the Fiesta de Don Jorge began a week prior to the annual all day party. Three Club families had birthdays during the month so a total of 4 piñatas were made. The layering of the paper mache over the balloons went quickly because it was the 2nd year of piñata making. Thanks to Surya’s help, the fringe decor was an improvement over last year. PAZA provided for the piñata filling which included toothbrushes and pencils along with the sweet and salted treats.

Making the Piñatas

On the day of the Fiesta the library and workshop overflowed with everybody working on masks and crowns. Lunch was everybody´s favorite festive dish, “Pique Macho”. Piping hot French Fries are piled with bite-size chunks of meat and sausage in a savory sauce. The diner adorns his or her heaping plate of yumminess with hard-boiled egg, onion, tomato, chilies, and in the kids case a lot of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

Fiesta de Don Jorge 2018

Doña Máxima and Vilma peeled and cut up 13 pounds of potatoes with knives – peelers and cutting boards are not local culinary techniques. Doña Máxima headed to the outdoor cooking lean-to to start a fire for frying the potatoes and Vilma headed indoors to cook the meat on the gas range. There was a bit of a lull after the meal. Everyone rallied for games and worked up an appetite so they could enjoy the 3 layer chocolate and lime birthday cake. Don Jorge will turn 88 in February and hopefully the photos and best wishes will reach his Kansas mailbox this year.

Jhesica Sharing Her Work with Veronica

Saturday mornings were reserved for the teens to work on their drawing skills. Surya is a portrait artist and noted that they had not learned to sketch a big picture but focused on small details. She started the classes with timed drawings of self-portraits, followed by instruction, and ended the class by letting the teens watercolor for their enjoyment. Surya’s work may be viewed at www.suryadewit.net.

On Sunday the 14th an emergency meeting of the Centro de Artesanía, Huancarani (CAH) was called at the PAZA workshop. A new President needed to be elected to replace Doña Cirila who did not meet the requirement of being a member for 2 years. She took it upon herself to go in search of the CAH members in town for market day and managed to gather up a quorum of 14. Her mother, a founding member, won the election and hesitantly took on the responsibility after Doña Cirila promised to help her. Maribel, Secretary and the youngest CAH member, ran the meeting as the most senior Board member. It is heartening to observe younger members taking an active role in the organization.

Waiting for Quorum of Weavers to Gather

The school year begins on February 5th, and that means high stress for mothers to come up with the cash to purchase school supplies. PAZA always has a weaving order so the weavers can count on income in February. During the last 3 Sundays in January most of the active weavers stopped by the PAZA workshop inquiring or dropping off an order. Doña Eulalia sighed as she commented on the ever increasing list of school supplies as her 4 children move through primary into secondary school. The weavings will be in the U.S. the end of April and need to be sold to keep the PAZA rotating fund for the weaving orders rotating. Thanks to the use of the weavings in Laverne’s Waddington’s workshops PAZA sales have changed from a myriad of products of our design to selling the cloth for you to design and cut for your own creations. The fajas (traditionally belts) are 70”x4.5”, wider weavings that we use to make the zippered pouches are 63”x9.5”, and straps (size used for the yoga mat straps) are 74”x1.5” or a bit longer at 78”x1.5”. There will also be zippered pouches, yoga mat straps, and a few ch’uspas (shoulder bags). Inquires can be sent to dkdutcher@hotmail.com.

Thank you Dorothy Thursby and Susan Long for kickstarting 2018 with your continued support of the weavers and teens.  Dorinda Dutcher, January 28, 2018

Tinkuy 2017 Report

Readying for the Tinkuy Inauguration Parade

Congratulations to Nilda Callañaupa, the Tinkuy International Weaving Conference Organizing Committee, the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco (CTTC) weavers, and all the Tinkuy volunteers for creating an incredible 4 day textile extravaganza. All 5 senses reeled under the color, movement, texture, and sounds of Tinkuy 2017. Wow! It is still impossible to summarize coherently but references to the Tinkuy will be ongoing because there was so much information relevant to PAZA´s activities and idea possibilities for the future.

Doña Maxima in the Spinning Competition

Doña Maxima and Doña Justina loved their hands on experiences that included the spinning competition, giving their weaving/knitting demonstration, and taking the workshops. For life-long weavers, both found the advanced backstrap weaving class and the chinchilla border class challenging. The 17 minute presentation they were to give was the last presentation before the closing ceremony, so the burden of that upcoming event was carried throughout the conference. Doña Máxima and Doña Justina marched up to the stage, faced the large crowd, and stoically gave their presentation, “Stories of the Traditional Weavings of Independencia, Bolivia”. The English translation was a disappointment,

Doña Maxima Weaving and Doña Justina Knitting at Their Technique Demo

but there are probably only a handful in all of Cusco who could translate Quechua to English. The 5 months of research to put together the presentation led to some intriguing questions that will be fun to investigate and report on in future blogs. The women spoke in Quechua which was understood by the majority of the audience who were the hosting Quechua speaking CTTC weavers. It was a thoughtful way to end the 4 days of presentations.

There were numerous anticipated meetings between the Bolivian weavers and long-time PAZA supporters. The weavers met Lyn Lucas and David Anderson who were PAZA´s first supporters in 2010. Doña Máxima who has been the Spinzilla Cloth Roads Warmis Phuskadoras team captain for 4 years and Doña Justina who coordinates Spinzilla activities in Huancarani finally met sponsor Marilyn Murphy. Dorothy Thursby who has been an ongoing supporter of PAZA renewed her acquaintance with Doña Máxima from the 2013 Tinkuy. Katie Simmons who has been to Independencia 4 times and helped in the 2013 Tinkuy trip to Cusco was a welcome familiar face. Teena Jennings, WARP member and longtime supporter, met the weavers and introduced her husband and daughter who had

On Stage
(Photo Credit: David Anderson)

accompanied her. Prior to this trip Doña Justina who turned 60 this year had never been anywhere that wasn´t to visit family and on those trips she was always accompanied by family. The weavers met Karen Sprenger who lives near Dorinda´s parents in Kansas and has promoted the weavings in the local fiber community. As Doña Máxima chatted with Deborah Chandler in Spanish she was unaware that Deborah is the go-to person for advice when PAZA hits a snag in the road.

There have been many comments about Doña Máxima´s unsmiling countenance. It is cultural. For years she has been able to look through the PAZA photos to select those of herself and her family for developing. She never selects photos where she is smiling, she says they are ugly.

Karen Sprenger with the Weavers. All Weavings are in Kansas and are Available to Buy.

Dorinda has gifted many “happy face” photos to Doña Máxima who graciously accepts them, but who knows what she does with them when she gets home. The expression that should have been captured on film was Doña Maxima´s beatific smile when she walked off of the airplane in Cochabamba into the arms of her daughter, son, and 2 granddaughters. The smiles and tears of joy and relief on the faces of Doña Máxima´s family and Doña Justina´s 2 daughters and grandson would have made you cry. They were so happy and relieved to have their mothers safely home.

The inventory of weavings in the U.S. is building up, and that slows down PAZA´s rotating fund for placing and purchasing orders with the weavers. ‘Tis the season… Weaving a yoga mat strap is where a beginning weaver starts weaving to earn income, although all the weavers weave them. If there is a yogi on your holiday shopping list the yoga mat straps for a 1/8” thick sticky mat are $21 and for the ¼” thick exercise mat the price is $22.

Yoga Mat Straps on Models Shannon Dutcher & David Whetzel

Is there a weaver on your gift giving list who would delight in hand spun, natural dyed cloth with Andean motifs to use for her own projects? The fajas are bands of cloth 67” x 4.5” and cost $35, larger weavings PAZA uses for making the zippered pouches are 63” x 9.5” and are $64. The 75” x 1.5” straps are $19. The lined zippered pouches are $15 and $16 with a wrist strap. There are dress/tunic sashes measuring 60” x 2.5” for $35. Also available are chuspas in a variety of sizes and priced accordingly.

All the weavings have a story, and that´s what makes them such special gifts. Orders will be accepted until December 14th, with the last shipping date on December 15th. Contact Dorinda at dkdutcher@hotmail.com.

Thank you Lyn Lucas and David Anderson, I hope it´s not another 7 years before our paths cross again! Thank you lifelong friend Geoff Folker for your support last month. Another thank you is in order for the P.J. Broderick Memorial Foundation whose support made it possible to attend the Tinkuy. Thank you everyone who has supported the Bolivian weavers, teens, and kids this year.  Wishing you the warmth of joy and laughter with family and friends this holiday season. Peace on Earth. Dorinda Dutcher, December 3, 2017

October Fun, Fun, Fun

Vilma Juggling Her Spinning Week Results on Measuring Day in Sanipaya

October was a super month. The Cloth Roads team Warmis Phuskadoras placed 27th out of the 70 Spinzilla teams. The Bolivian spinners spun 70,390 yards, all with drop spindles. The annual celebratory feast and prize awarding ceremony will be held in Huancarani in early January. Shawls are the prize for all of the Huancarani spinners. Doña Máxima will be purchasing the shawl material in Cochabamba and the Club de Artesanas (CdA) members will be crocheting the borders thus personalizing each shawl. Vilma, a skilled crocheter, was tasked with crocheting a sample to determine the labor cost and the amount of yarn needed per shawl. Her timid response was a wage of 25 Bs.($3.60) per shawl. After much discussion about the time and skill required PAZA upped the wage to 60 Bs. ($8.65).

Rebecca & the Chicas

Australia has come to Independencia. The year started out with Laverne Waddington’s visit to teach weaving workshops. She is from Australia but has made eastern Bolivia her home. The next visitor was Australian Cheryl Cartwright who was a great help in measuring the 70,390 yards of Spinning Week yarn. After Spinzilla, the women and teens spent a week working on cross stitch projects taught by Rebecca Rich. She lugged the workshop supplies and wonderful chocolate treats from Melbourne to Argentina, Peru, and finally Bolivia. The chicas adored their new friend. They showed up during the CdA weekday afternoons as well as Saturdays to work on their projects and hang out with Rebecca. She brought out a world map at least 3 times and all grew to feel a familiarity with that world so far away. You can read Rebecca’s visit report on the volunteer page of this blog.

Huddled in the Entry on an Inclement Day

An observation that Rebecca made early on was that Doña Antonia would probably make fewer mistakes if she had glasses. Rumor has it that the women will not wear glasses because glasses are associated with being educated, which most of the rural women are not. PAZA handed out about 2 dozen reading glasses a few years ago, but there wasn’t any encouragement to continue. Shockingly, Doña Antonia agreed that she needed glasses and actually wore them thus dramatically improving the quality of the butterfly she was cross stitching on a bib for her granddaughter. PAZA will invest in more reading glasses.

Doña Justina´s Chuspa Will Debut at the Tinkuy Parade

Preparation for the Tinkuy reached a feverish pitch by the end of the month, although the planning began in June. Doña Justina dropped by most Sundays to practice her part of the presentation. One Sunday she brought the ch’uspa she had just completed to wear in the Inauguration Parade. Doña Máxima practiced the presentation 3 times a week with the PowerPoint photos and without them at home. She spent her spare time during the day at her loom and worked on her beaded tulmas (braid adornments) at night. The local carpenter took forever to finish the simple leaning frame loom so that Vilma could get started on sewing a carrying case for the loom, flag pole, and the banner pole. Her results created a panic because the length was unmanageable. The preparation provided many a challenge, but, whew, the work is done, and all that is left is to enter the magical colorful whirlwind that is Tinkuy.

Readying Orders and Weavings Going to the Tinkuy Sales Table

The CdA will close for 3 weeks, allowing Doña Maxima a breather following the Tinkuy. She plans to spend a few days in Cochabamba to make the purchases for the Spinzilla prizes and enjoy her daughter Zoraida´s 4 month old baby girl. Yes, 8 year old Zuni finally has a sibling! Many have met Zuni who as a toddler spent long days playing in the PAZA sales tent at Cochabamba craft fairs. Dorinda is headed to the U.S. after the Tinkuy and will return to Independencia in late December. She will be accompanied by volunteer Surya de Wit who has been considering a visit to

Bibs & Bags

Independencia since 2013 when she was an artist-in-residence for Sustainable Bolivia. Surya draws, paints, and uses textiles in her art. The teens are excited about an opportunity to progress with their drawing skills. The women are curious about learning new dye techniques.

Thank you Rebecca for your kindness and generosity. Thank you Lyn Lucas and Dorothy Thursby, we look forward to seeing you at in Cusco where you will finally get to see for yourselves the results of your years of continued support! We are so excited about seeing everyone at the Tinkuy! Dorinda Dutcher, October 30, 2017