Three of my photos from Peru are part of the current exhibition at the Spectrum Gallery in Centerbrook, CT. The exhibition, "A Show of Hands" celebrates the fabric arts.
Peru has a rich tradition of weaving and knitting. On two trips to Peru over the last few years I've had the opportunity to visit two communities that keep this part of the culture alive, Chinchero and Taquile.
Taquile is an island located on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. It is a very isolated and traditional society. Taquileños are renown for their handwoven textiles. On the island, all knitting is done by men, and women exclusively make the yarn and weave. I took the photo of the man knitting a chullo, a traditional Peruvian hat, in the main square on Taquile.
Chinchero, a small community near the Urubamba River valley, is home to a weaving cooperative that practices traditional methods of dyeing and weaving textiles. This photo shows one of the practitioners in the process of making a red dye made from cochineal insect which feeds on a local cactus.
The photo of the mother and child was taken above Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. She was using a drop spindle to spin the wool into yarn. There is a large ball of yarn that she had been working on under her left arm.