Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s artwork is marked by her compassionate and urgent engagement with a range of pressing contemporary issues, from immigration and environmental precarity to the resilience of Indigenous ancestral values and the necessity of decolonial aesthetics in art making. Drawing on the fiber arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Chicana feminist art, and Indigenous fiber- and loom-based traditions, Jimenez Underwood’s art encompasses needlework, weaving, painted and silkscreened pieces, installations, sculptures, and performance. This volume’s contributors write about her place in feminist textile art history, situate her work among that of other Indigenous-identified feminist artists, and explore her signature works, series, techniques, images, and materials. Redefining the practice of weaving, Jimenez Underwood works with repurposed barbed wire, yellow caution tape, safety pins, and plastic bags and crosses Indigenous, Chicana, European, and Euro-American art practices, pushing the arts of the Americas beyond Eurocentric aesthetics toward culturally hybrid and Indigenous understandings of art making. Jimenez Underwood’s redefinition of weaving and painting alongside the socially and environmentally engaged dimensions of her work position her as one of the most vital artists of our time.
Contributors. Constance Cortez, Karen Mary Davalos, Carmen Febles, María Esther Fernández, Christine Laffer, Ann Marie Leimer, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Robert Milnes, Jenell Navarro, Laura E. Pérez, Marcos Pizarro, Verónica Reyes, Clara Román-Odio, Carol Sauvion, Cristina Serna, Emily Zaiden
The fundamental gesture of weaving in The Craft of Zeus is the interlacing of warp and woof described by Plato in The Statesman--an interweaving signifying the union of opposites. From rituals symbolizing--even fabricating--the cohesion of society to those proposed by oracles as a means of propitiating fortune; from the erotic and marital significance of weaving and the woven robe to the use of weaving as a figure for language and the fabric of the text, this lively and lucid book defines the logic of one of the central concepts in Greek and Roman thought--a concept that has persisted, woof and warp crossing again and again, as the fabric of human history has unfolded.
The people of Taquile Island on the Peruvian side of beautiful Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the Americas, are renowned for the hand-woven textiles that they both wear and sell to outsiders. One thousand seven hundred Quechua-speaking peasant farmers, who depend on potatoes and the fish from the lake, host the forty thousand tourists who visit their island each year. Yet only twenty-five years ago, few tourists had even heard of Taquile. In Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth, and Culture on an Andean Island, Elayne Zorn documents the remarkable transformation of the isolated rocky island into a community-controlled enterprise that now provides a model for indigenous communities worldwide.
Over the course of three decades and nearly two years living on Taquile Island, Zorn, who is trained in both the arts and anthropology, learned to weave from Taquilean women. She also learned how gender structures both the traditional lifestyles and the changes that tourism and transnationalism have brought. In her comprehensive and accessible study, she reveals how Taquileans used their isolation, landownership, and communal organizations to negotiate the pitfalls of globalization and modernization and even to benefit from tourism. This multi-sited ethnography set in Peru, Washington, D.C., and New York City shows why and how cloth remains central to Andean society and how the marketing of textiles provided the experience and money for Taquilean initiatives in controlling tourism.
The first book about tourism in South America that centers on traditional arts as well as community control, Weaving a Future will be of great interest to anthropologists and scholars and practitioners of tourism, grassroots development, and the fiber arts.
Situated on the western edge of the Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and White-Inyo mountain ranges, Owens Valley has been home for thousands of years to the Owens Valley Paiute and their southern neighbors, the Panamint Shoshone. The willow baskets both groups created are noteworthy for their complex construction and durability, and their materials and designs reflected available resources as well as the seminomadic existence that characterized life in the Great Basin for generations.
Since the mid-nineteenth-century arrival of non-Indians into the Valley, the baskets have changed. Weaving a Legacy places those changes in the context of the region’s dramatic social history. In addition, the volume closely examines basketry techniques and technology, historic weavers and their lineages, contemporary weavers, and basket collectors.
The text is extensively illustrated with black-and-white photographs of people, landscapes, and baskets. Among the legacies of these baskets are the stories they evoke, many of which the authors recount in this beautiful work.
An inquiry into how we engage with the world, and how solutions to environmental challenges can be found in the heart of our emotional relationships with places
"No one with a working heart will fail to be moved by Van Gelder. With passion and intelligence, she explores the way we story places and places story all life."
---Patrick Curry, Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Kent, and author of Ecological Ethics: An Introduction and Defending Middle-Earth
"With grace and passion Leslie Van Gelder weaves together stories of her own encounters with an amazing variety of places---riverside meadows of Oxford, racially sundered Cyprus, fly-tormented Canadian muskeg, caves stroked by Paleolithic fingertips, derelict Coney Island, grasslands through which lion cubs follow the black tip of their mother’s tail---to show us how Place and Story are the warp and weft of our being as earth-dwellers."
---Tim Robinson, Folding Landscapes, and author of Connemara: Listening to the Wind
"Travel narrative, memoir, literary criticism, and anthropology fuse in this highly original and moving exploration of place and home."
---John Elder, author of Reading the Mountains of Home and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa
"Van Gelder offers her most deeply personal stories as microcosmic examples of universal human experience, thus creating an empathic bond with her reader that conveys power and understanding simultaneously, and stimulates the reader's imagination toward reflection upon similarly personal stories of place. Van Gelder has modeled the relationship between story and place by telling placeful stories, and so has licensed the reader to do the same. Her writing throughout is rich and metaphoric. She is a gifted storyteller and a competent scholar, a combination to be treasured."
---Joseph W. Meeker, Professor Emeritus, College of Arts/Science, Union Institute and University, and author of The Spheres of Life, The Comedy of Survival, and Minding the Earth
Weaving a Way Home is an inquiry into the complex relationship between people, place, and story. In our memories and connections to a place, we are given one of the few opportunities to have deep relationships with place---relationships that cannot be described in words. Place can embody powerful emotions for us, and Leslie Van Gelder argues that we ourselves are places---geographical points possessing unique perspectives---that can feel displaced, replaced, or immovable. While the places of the external world can be accessed through maps and a good GPS system, our emotional landscapes are best reached through the sharing of stories.
In the tradition of writers Lewis Hyde, Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Joseph Meeker, Steven Mithen, Paul Shepard, Gary Snyder, and Terry Tempest Williams, Van Gelder uses both creative nonfiction narrative and evolutionary biological theory to explore complex terrain. Following Van Gelder's own travels, the book moves from the caves of the Dordogne lit only by the small beam of a flashlight, to an acacia thicket in Mozambique, to a black fly–infested bay inappropriately named Baie de Ha Ha in the inlands of Quebec, to the green line wrapped in barbed wire separating northern and southern Cyprus, to Abu Simbel's empty stone eyes in the Egyptian desert, and finally to the high road above Pelorus Sound on the rocky coasts of New Zealand. The author takes the reader to each place to create a storied landscape and explore new intellectual terrain. Van Gelder shows us that our collections of experiences, unique to us, can only be shared through the articulation of narrative.Weaving a Way Home will appeal to those deeply interested in knowing how we forge relationships with places and how that shapes who we are.
Although less well known than its much-admired counterparts in Peru and Bolivia, highland Ecuadorian weaving is an Andean tradition that has relationships with these more southern areas. A world away from the industrialized textile manufacturing of Euro-American society, these handmade pieces reflect the history and artistry of an ancient culture.
This comprehensive study, edited by Ann Pollard Rowe, is unrivaled in its detail and includes not only descriptions of the indigenous weaving and dyeing technology, but also an interpretation of its historical significance, as well as hundreds of photographs, drawings, and maps that inform the understanding of the process.
The principal focus is on backstrap-loom weaving, a major pre-Hispanic technology. Ecuadorian backstrap looms, which differ in various ways from those found elsewhere in the Andes, have previously only been treated in general terms. Here, the basic operation of this style of loom is covered, as are a variety of patterning techniques including warp-resist (ikat) dyeing, weaving belts with twill, and supplementary- and complementary-warp patterning. Spanish colonial treadle-loom weaving is also covered. The weaving techniques are explained in detail, so the reader can replicate them if desired.
Textiles have been an important art form among Andean peoples from remote prehistory up to the present. A greater understanding of their creation process can yield a more meaningful appreciation of the art itself.
Weaving the Boundary
Karenne Wood University of Arizona Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3623.O63A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Evocative, haunting, and ultimately hopeful, Karenne Wood’s Weaving the Boundary explores personal and collective memories and contemporary American Indian realities through lenses of human loss, desire, violence, and love.
This focused, accessible collection carries readers into a deep and intimate understanding of the natural world, the power of language, and the interconnectedness of life. Untold stories are revealed through documented events in various tribal histories, and indictments of destructive encounters between Western colonialism and Native peoples are juxtaposed with a lyric voice that gently insists on reweaving the past, honoring women and all life, creating a sovereign space for indigenous experience. Wood writes, “Nothing was discovered. Everything was already loved.”
Political yet universal, Weaving the Boundary tells of love and betrayal, loss and forgiveness. Wood intertwines important and otherwise untold stories and histories with a heightened sense of awareness of Native peoples’ issues and present realities.
Moving from elegy to evocations of hope and desire, the poems call for respect toward Mother Earth and feminine sensibility. One hears in this collection a longing to be carried deeper into the world, to return to tradition, to nature, to truth, to an innate belonging in the “weaving” of all life.
For the Yaka of Southwestern Zaire, infertility is a tear in the fabric of life, and the Khita fertility ritual is a trusted way of reweaving the damaged strands. In Weaving the Threads of Life Rene Devisch offers an extended analysis of the Khita cult, which leads to an original account of the workings of ritual healing.
Drawing on many years among urban and rural Yaka, Devisch analyzes their understanding of existence as a fabric of firmly but delicately interwoven threads of nature, body, and society. The fertility healing ritual calls forth forces, feelings, and meanings that allow women to rejoin themselves to the complex pattern of social and cosmic life. These elaborate rites—whether simulating mortal agony and rebirth, gestation and delivery, or flowering and decay; using music and dance, steambath or massage, dream messages or scarification—are not based on symbols of traditional beliefs. Rather, Devisch shows, the rites themselves generate forces and meaning, creating and shaping the cosmic, physical, and social world of their participants.
In contrast to current theoretical methods such as postmodern or symbolical interpretation, Devisch's praxiological approach is unique in also using phenomenological insights into the intent and results of anthropological fieldwork. This innovative work will have ramifications beyond African studies, reaching into the anthropology of medicine and the body, comparative religious history, and women's studies.