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Faces of Tradition

Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes vividly portrays dozens of ancient weavers and the landscapes that they occupy in the Cusco region of the Andes. The book reveals the personal stories and life experiences of the weavers, bringing to life the decades of endurance, skill, fortitude and natural pride honed from the time-honored traditions of the region and its people. "This beautifully made new book focuses on the culture of the Andean people thru individuals," said Linda Ligon, the creator of Thrums Books. "The Andean people portrayed are so poor, materially and so rich culturally. They have had incredibly hard lives, yet these women are carrying on their culture and prevailing. They are so proud of who they are." Joe Coca's intimate photographs capture the elders, some of who had never seen a picture of themselves or even looked in a mirror, in striking images, revealing the life, strength, character and experience of these men and women. "When I began travelling throughout the Cusco region to work with weavers, I met many remarkable women and men whose hands and minds were never still from their fascination with cloth," said Callanaupa Alvarez. "In this book I hope to share with many more people the opportunity to meet these Elders and the communities that surround and support them."
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About the Author

Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez is a native of Chinchero, the Peruvian mountain village immortalized in The Motorcycle Diaries. She was identified by anthropologists at an early age as having an unusual capacity for understanding and recreating historic weaving technique, and was invited to demonstrate at the Smithsonian Institution even before she learned English. After receiving a degree in tourism from the University of Cusco, she founded the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, a combination school/gallery/museum, and established weaving co-ops in nine far-flung mountain villages to perpetuate traditional techniques and quality and build economic development in these fragile societies. She lives in Cusco with her husband and two sons.


""This beautiful book is both a celebration of cultural survival and homage to one of the greatest art forms ever brought into being by the human imagination, the textile traditions of Andean Peru. But it also brings together two women whose friendship over forty years must surely rank as one of the most creative and significant collaborations in the history of anthropology. When Chris Franquemont and her late husband Ed first met Nilda as a young girl of fourteen, who could have known that the result would be the very rebirth and reinvention of a craft that more than any other had expressed the essence of life in the Andes for 4000 years. Nilda Callanaupa has become a living treasure in Peru; the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco an inspiration to all. Chris Franquemont was literally the godmother of both. This book is their gift to the world." Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence, National Geographic Society""" ""An elegant, soulful book unlike any other I have held in my hands. It is a call for the honoring and preservation of culture through tapestries, through weaving, through the dignity of those who listen to the truth of their lives with their hands. This is a book about time and beautywoven together through weavers stories. A review in five words: portraits of integrity and love." Terry Tempest Williams, author, """ When Women Were Birds" ""As one would expect from Nilda Callanaupa, who has devoted her life to weaving, this book is a well-made labor of love which pays tribute to the most enduring and emotive of Andean traditions. The photographic portraits, by Joe Coca, are sensitive and dignified." Hugh Thomson, author, " The White Rock"

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