Mexico trying to preserve pre-Columbian textiles

Mexico City, June 28 (IANS/EFE) The Mexican capital will host an event aimed at ensuring the survival of pre-Columbian techniques of weaving and dyeing textiles.

To be held July 3-7 at the Museo Franz Meyer, the gathering will bring together artisans who still make the traditional rebozo – a long shawl – with cloth merchants, designers, scholars and collectors.

“The idea of the encounter is that the technique of jaspe (resist dyeing of threads prior to weaving) and the rebozo is slipping out of our hands. Let us be aware. We need to see where it is salvageable and what needs to be subsidized,” the event organizer, anthropologist Marta Turok, told a press conference.

Museo Franz Mayer boasts Latin America’s largest collection of decorative arts, including fine art, books, furniture, ceramics and textiles, most of it from Mexico.

The encounter will include workshops, demonstrations and a seminar.

The art of jaspe and rebozo fell into crisis in the second half of the 20th century because the market places too low a value on the end result to make it feasible for artisans to spend time and effort mastering what is “a very complex and laborious technique”, Turok said.

–IANS/EFE

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