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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A contemporary Peruvian weaving technique on the continuous warp loom : learning and instruction in a non literate society McRobb, Janice Helen


The first chapters of this thesis provide a brief survey to establish the antiquity of the Peruvian textile tradition. The development of this tradition, using the most rudimentary of equipment, the continuous warp loom, is traced from its beginnings millenia ago, to the Spanish conquest in the fifteenth century, which disruption of the established pattern of life resulted in the loss of many sophisticated textile techniques. The continuation of the warp-pattern weaves results from their position as peasant weaving techniques, in contradistinction to the other techniques which were used in the production of status textiles. The versatility of the continuous warp loom is shown, with reference to prehistoric models and early Spanish literature, followed by a discussion of contemporary loom set ups, observed during field work in Peru in 1978. A later chapter provides detailed descriptions of spinning, warping and weaving techniques observed in the Cuzco region of Peru. The weaving descriptions include finger weaving techniques in the production of narrow and wide bands, and loom weaving of wide cloth, using a variety of loom set ups. The thesis concludes with a description of how the Peruvian weavers transmit their knowledge, as experienced by the researcher, who participated in this culture transmission by learning to weave while in Peru, and the effects of the learning process on the evolution of designs in the textiles.

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