Weaving a Bright Future in Nicaragua

Originally published in Hand/Eye MagazineIMG_4750copyright

Telares Indígenas Nicaragua is a small group of enterprising women weavers living in the village of El Chile, in the north of Nicaragua. They weave beautiful fabrics in vibrant colors from re-used cotton and sew them into bags and purses of all shapes and sizes.

Nicaragua has a centuries-old weaving tradition, but for a few decades in the 20th century, its people were forbidden by their government to practice the craft.  Some speculate that the government wanted to free up labor to work in factories, while others call it a deliberate attempt to weaken indigenous culture. Whatever the reason, the prohibition was effective; no one dared defy the dictator.

When the Somoza regime was overthrown in 1979, the country’s rich history of indigenous weaving might have remained lost were it not for the fortitude of the El Chile community and the efforts of an enterprising Argentine named Marta Ruíz  - along with a little help from the revolutionary government. Read the full article on Hand/Eye


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