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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:00 am
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
One interesting thing about colours-I asked my teacher in Potosi Bolivia to teach me the names of colours in Quechua. The name for "blue" that she told me is "azul"-the Spanish word-it seems that there is not a Quechua word for this colour.

I did some studies with an anthropologist in coastal Ecuador in 2007. I researched the weaving while she studied the traditonal indigo dyeing methods. I will ask her what locals called indigo as you have expresed an interest in this.

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 Post subject: Watado
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:21 am 
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Location: Japan
Laverne, Thank you for your reply. It seems that Spanish influence has been and continues to be very strong in Latin and South America! I did some google research on Quechua and other native languages and the basic opinion was that these languages have been in decline since Spanish arrival. There probably was a word for the color indigo in Quechua in pre Spanish times but it has been totally replaced by the word Azul.

Were the names for other colors dyed also in Spanish? Does the indigo plant grow in Bolivia and if so is it still used in dyeing? As you are a backstrap weaver I wonder if you can tell me the names for the various parts of the backstrap loom in Quechua. What names do you use for the parts of your loom? English or Spanish?

The Spanish were never able to conquer the tribes of northern Luzon, Philippines so their cultures remained intact until American influence in the first half of the 20th C. This is generally the case in Mindanao as well. The last 60 years have brought about rapid change however, and the weaving and dyeing traditions of these tribal groups have declined and been replaced with Western clothes.

In Indonesia the Dutch made few efforts to change the customs, religions or cultures of the various tribal groups as long as they kept producing the coffee and spices. Adat or traditional custom is still quite strong and the weaving and dyeing arts are still practiced to provide traditional clothing. In these areas I was able to do linguistic research but it may be all but too late for the native languages of South America.

Thanks again for your reply and good luck with your many weaving projects. Best regards, MAC


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
The name of the various loom parts vary all over Bolivia and Peru. Some parts that have names in one place don't have names at all in others. I have asked for names of certain things only to be looked at like I am mad with the response "es un palito no mas!" TRANSLATION: It's JUST a stick! TRANSLATION OF ATTITUDE: Duh!

Then there are the Aymara words....

My teachers have all been Quechua. The three words that have been common to all areas where I have been are "illawa" for string heddles, "mini" for weft and "quay'tu" for hand spun wool. "Lana"-Spanish for wool is used for all bought yarn whether it be wool or acrylic. "Hilo", again Spanish, is often used for yarn in general. They also use a bone tool as a pick and beater which is called "wichuna". Thi name doesn't vary.It is made from the lower leg bone of the llama and can't help thinking it must be related to the name of another camelid-"vicuna". A wooden tool which has exactly the same shape and function has a different name.

The bright neon colors that they like are usually all named in Spanish. Black, white red green and yellow have Quechua names. There are most likely names for other tones that I never found out. They probably have a name for sky color which they don't relate to blue. In Spanish sky color is "celeste" rather than "azul claro", meaning light blue, as we would say in English.

I can provide you with Quechua words for loom parts as used in the central Bolivian highlands if you like.

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 Post subject: Weaving words and colors
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:01 am 
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Location: Japan
Laverne, Thanks again for your informative reply. In Indonesia I can't remember ever having a weaver tell me she didn't know the names for the parts of her loom! I would like very much to know the Quechua names for the parts of the backstrap loom in the highlands of Bolivia. I would also like to know the Quechua names for the 5 colors you listed: black, white, red, green and yellow. Were or are these colors from natural sources? Are natural dyes used at all now? Are these 5 colors the ones used before chemical colors were available?

Is the commonly used term ILLAWA, meaning string heddle, a Spanish word? It has the double L which I would guess is pronunced like the Y in yes which makes me think it is Spanish in origin.

You said the name of the bone pick/beater was wichuna which seems to be an original Quechua name. You also said that an identical wooden beater was also used but had a different name. May I ask the name of the wooden beater? How long is the beater or how wide is the cloth being woven? In Indonesia the beater is a meter or more long as the cloth woven can be up to a meter wide.

Do you know the book "The Birth Symbol" from the Textile Museum in Canada? It is about the patterns you are weaving in your Yurt Bands. They are supposedly representations of the birth or mother goddess who was worshiped until the beginning of the empire of Babylon when her worship was forbidden and she was replaced with a monotheistic male god. The book suggests that women have passed down the knowledge of the Birth Goddess these 4,000 years through the patterns in their textiles.

Have you ever practiced the ikat dyeing technique? Do you also weave other types of traditional Bolivian textiles? Thanks again for your time and information and best regards. MAC


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 Post subject: Spanish and Quechua
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:30 am 
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Dear Laverne,

I think it is so interesting that you only come across Spanish names for yarn while weaving was so intensively practised before the Spanish came. Do you know the indigenous names for yarn and to what they refer?

Thank you for a fascinating post.

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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
Just a quick reply for now and I will get back to you with the other info later. ILLAWA as written is the spelling according to Spanish phonetics of a Quechua word. I have also seen other versions of its spelling in other books. I hear words from my teachers who are often illiterate and I write them as they sound using Spanish phonetics and then I sometimes find them in books with the same or different spelling.

I have not "studied" the names of the colors and loom parts. I ask their names just so I can have a working vocabulary with my teachers. I tend to retain the words that I need to use most. The words for the bars that make up the actual loom are not used as one weaves and receives instruction. It is the names of the active tools that are needed...yarn,weft, beater, heddles, shed rod etc.

In the Bolivian highlands they most often use a sword in the shed and beat in the weft with the wichuna (the "n" is wichuna is pronounced and written as the Spanish "enye"). The wichuna is a short pointed tool that they use to push in the weft. I can post photos here as I have many tools and I have video on my Flickr page of a woman in Candelaria using her wichuna.
Photos and links later.....

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz Bolivia
My apologies for my disappearance. I am just adding a little more as a response to your questions. First Sandra, there is a name for yarn in Quechua- qu'aytu or k'aytu-which refers to handspun fiber.

I am attaching a photo here of the beaters that I was telling you about. The two on the left are the wooden versions-I have searched my journals and cannot find the name for this. The bone ones are the wichunas. The wooden tool in the foreground I am told is used to push down the warps behind the heddles as one raises the heddle stick. I have never seen one of these being used and got this tool from an elderly woman who had stopped weaving long ago. It has a red stain on it which I imagine is cochineal.

Here are some colours in Quechua...the spelling is my interpretation of the sounds...
Yana- black
Q'omir- green
Puka- red
Q'ellu- yellow
Yora- white

Also attached is a picture of me weaving on a staked out ground loom using the wichuna to beat in the weft. Note the bandaids on my hands from using the tool! Notice too the bright acrylic yarn favoured in the highlands.

Many more quetions to answer-I will get to them bit by bit!

Laverne


Attachments:
bone toolsdsz.JPG
bone toolsdsz.JPG [ 37.75 KiB | Viewed 4429 times ]
learning in Potosi dsz crop.jpg
learning in Potosi dsz crop.jpg [ 19.19 KiB | Viewed 4429 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Today I was at the The London Antique Textiles, Carpets, Vintage Costumes & Tribal Art Fair. I happened to be looking at a couple of stands with Joss Graham and he picked out a very striking and fresh looking length of fabric which included some narrowish bands of warp ikat. The stand owner said that, eventually, she had been able to identify it as a skirt length from Guatemala - much to general amazement! She had labelled it as: "Jaspe motif corte (skirt length), Guatemala. She had identified it from a Minneapolis exhibit (but I am not sure which institution).

I immediately thought of the forum and discussions on this thread although, of course, this piece is 'only' single ikat. (See page 1 of the thread for jaspe and corte). I asked if I could take some photos to share - please see below. I was interested to see that the stripe in the warp which shows on the reverse is hardly visible on the face of the fabric except in the ikat bands. The jaspe ikat was on cotton threads but I assume that the bright red is something like rayon. It certainly had a rich shine! The stripes are weft stripes - not totally clear from the photos -sorry!


Attachments:
File comment: jaspe corte length from Guatemala
jaspe-length.jpg
jaspe-length.jpg [ 78.19 KiB | Viewed 4357 times ]
File comment: detail of jaspe corte length from Guatemala
jaspe-detail.jpg
jaspe-detail.jpg [ 84.14 KiB | Viewed 4357 times ]
File comment: jaspe length with face on left and reverse on right (showing warp stripe appearing on reverse but not on face except in jaspe areas)
jaspe-face-reverse.jpg
jaspe-face-reverse.jpg [ 81.06 KiB | Viewed 4357 times ]

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