Threads of Peru Blog

The Things We Carry

They say you can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse. If this is true, I wonder what the women of Chaullacocha and Rumira Sondormayo thought about me at this weekend´s entrega as I pulled out a Nalgene water bottle, compass, peanut butter power bar, and journal out of my bright purple backpack. 

Volunteers Alexa Jones and Stephanie Pardi are accompanied by Adrian, our Quechua translator during an interview. Photo by Sarah So

Volunteers Alexa Jones and Stephanie Pardi are accompanied by Adrian, our Quechua translator during an interview.Photo by Sarah So

This weekend, the TOP team went on an entrega to these communities to pick up the goods the artisans had woven over the course of one month. The artisans brought a mountain of colorful textiles to deliver to us and we brought our empty bags to fill with their handcrafted creations. 

The weavers met up with the Threads of Peru team to turn in their completed products. Photo by Alexa Jones

The weavers met up with the Threads of Peru team to turn in their completed products. Photo by Alexa Jones

As the TOP team trekked with our backpacks, the women trekked to the pre-established meeting place with their colorful rucksacks in the shape of a square known as llicllas (pronounced yik-yah) skillfully tied around their shoulders. The carrying capacity of llicllas never ceases to amaze me. As the artisans unfolded their llicllas, they removed potatoes, fried fish, measuring tapes, weaving tools, and bags of safely protected woven goods. Once they removed their woven goods, each woman turned in their work ranging from intricately woven straps to exquisite table runners. 

Alexa purchased a pasadizo directly from Luisa, a weaver from Rumira Sondormayo

Alexa purchased a pasadizo directly from Luisa, a weaver from Rumira Sondormayo.

Sunscreen versus potatoes, cameras versus pure alpaca wool, each one of us have things we carry suited for our individual lifestyle. Though the tangible things we carry to the communities differ culturally, we both carry a sense of intangible hopefulness. The textiles the artisans create and carry bring the hope for a more sustainable income and comfortable lifestyle while we carry back the hope that through selling their textiles, we are helping to make their load a little bit lighter.