Photographer Joe Coca captures brilliantly the heart of his subjects and the beauty of their place. Through over 200 photographs, he tells a story of the physical beauty of Guatemala, the diversity of a landscape that has shaped its people, the Maya culture, and of the textiles themselves. Several opening pages are devoted to images of place: from waterfalls to farm fields, from bustling marketplaces to religious festivals, all lit with the vibrant colors of Guatemala. “A land,” Chandler and Cordón write, “as colorful and varied as its weaving.” The opening imagery prepares for the artisans’ stories—as difficult, diverse, and enchanting as their home.
Chandler and Cordón introduce a diverse range of fiber artists, including men and women and spanning generations, from thirty-three to eighty-nine. You will meet weavers who exhibit their work in galleries and museums and earn significant prices for the sale of their traditional handwoven garments; widowed women struggling against poverty to raise their families through their weaving; and artists who, through necessity and creative expression, have evolved traditional weaving techniques and design, explaining subtle but significant regional differences in the use of patterns, colors, and styles.
In addition to the poignant conversations with weavers, the authors share the stories of spinners, dyers, basketmakers, and embroiderers who provide insight into their craft traditions, techniques, and tools.
Traditional Weavers of Guatamala is the most recent publication from Thrums Books, once again, masterfully exploring the compelling traditions of indigenous textile artisans throughout the world. The book will appeal not only to textile artists, but to anyone intrigued by the history of Guatemala and the cultural traditions of its people.