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Valuing textiles

Different weaving communities of practice attribute different values to textiles according to territoryuse and circulation, commercial exchange, rarity, antiquity and technological style. Understanding the process by which textiles acquire their value in the process of production, preservation and exchange is of critical importance to studies of cultural heritage in the Andean region.

In our project we identified the following groups involved in the process of valuing textiles as heritage:

  • Producers, including artisans and artists
  • Consumers and users of textile products
  • Museum curators (local, national and international)
  • Researchers
  • Planners and educators

Based on the experience of working with rural groups of weavers in Bolivia, Peru and Chile, including the project Infotambo-Challapata led by ILCA in the ayllu Qaqachaka (in the department of Oruro, in Bolivia), we examined the heritage value that weavers attribute to textiles within their own culture.