The Weavers of Otavalo
While the artisans of Otavalo are no longer forced to produce cloth by the Spaniard colonizers like their ancestors, the cottage industries of textiles in Otavalo high in Los Andes continue to undergo change. We strive to support both the maintenance of traditional techniques as well as creative expansions by the younger generations. We also enjoy working collaboratively with the makers to create custom designs for our U.S. market.
Here are a few videos (in Spanish) detailing some aspects of textile crafts in Otavalo. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, the visuals give you a good idea of the weavers and their art (and hard work). Sadly, many of the weavers interviewed are no longer living, so these videos have captured important historical and cultural information about Ecuador textiles. The use of these videos was generously authorized by Frank at www.otavalovideos.com – check out all their videos on many aspects of Otavalan culture.
History of Ecuador Textiles
Tio Mario Tontaquimba and his wife offer demonstrations at their workshop, “La Casa de Mis Abuelos”
Ecuador’s most famous weaver, Miguel Andrango offers us his vast knowledge
Tio José Cotacachi recounts his childhood experiences and the “business” of weaving back in the 60’s before tourism changed the business of the weaving community forever.
Luzmilla Andrango, daughter of Taita Miguel Andrango, speaks of the need to preserve the ancient technique.