Chile, Artesanías de Chile Foundation / Ángela Calfulaf, Ñimin Trariwe Belt
This is a trarikan ñimin, kind of blanket, weaved by the mapuche artisan Luisa Sandoval from Padre Las Casas Village, in La Araucanía Region. Dimensions: 160×140 cm. Made with sheep whool hand yarned. It takes 1 month to weave it. It's only made by order.
In Mapudungun -Mapuche people language- there are specic words for those who master the talent of weaving. For example, llallíñkushe means “old-primal spider”. She is the great ancient and original weaver, who, like wise weavers, also knows how to spin. She is the one who "helps" the girl: the llalliñ or little spider, who’s learning to weave. Inoensive, a llalliñ in the Mapuche cosmogony is that spider that inhabits the domestic, without poisoning or stinging, but gives itself to collaborate and share its knowledge. Their language has these words because weaving has been its millenary form of communication, where Mapuche -like so many other indigenous around the world- collect the cosmogony of their people. That’s why it’s said that the makuñ -blankets dressed by Mapuche men- and the trariwe - girdles wear by women- are the books of this culture. Texts written in a language that nowadays few düwekafe can "write". Few, because those who dominate the textile technique are women: expert weavers who skillfully reproduce the ancestral iconography of their people, but who, with the arrival of modern world and in the desire to simplify steps, innovate or commercialize, have vanished their meaning. The same has happened with the ability to shear, wash, carve, spin, twist, dye, tie, weave on the witral or Mapuche loom. One of the most deeply-rooted Mapuche weaving techniques -weaving with ñimin (kind of meaningful designs for mapuche people)- still alive in some villages at the south of Chile, in La Araucanía Region: specially in two of them, very known for its mapuche weavers: Padre Las Casas and Cholchol. Women who live there are heiresses of llalliñ, who still weave trarikan makuñ, kind of blanket that only can be dressed by the community leaders. Complex fabrics in their yarn, design and fabric.