'Peru' Weaves in Colorful designs.(ARTS)(ON VIEW)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 20, 2002 | Go to article overview

'Peru' Weaves in Colorful designs.(ARTS)(ON VIEW)


Byline: Joanna Shaw-Eagle, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"Hidden Threads of Peru: Q'ero Textiles," an exhibit of brilliantly colored cloths from the Cuzco area of Peru, holds the fruits of one man's 40-year love affair with the Q'ero people.

He is John Cohen, 70, a retired professor of visual arts at the State University of New York at Purchase, who first went to Peru to research contemporary Indian weaving in 1956.

The show of 35 textiles draws upon the collection of 25 fabrics Mr. Cohen gave to the Textile Museum in 1999. Others were lent by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Mr. Cohen's interest in Peruvian weavers developed when he was studying for a master's degree in fine arts at Yale University from 1956 to 1957 and studying with former Bauhaus painter Josef Albers. Mr. Albers' wife, Anni, was a weaver. He found that his own aesthetic interests tied in with pre-Hispanic Peruvian weavers who used designs from 2,000 years earlier.

"The repeated sequences of colors and the deliberate interruptions to these sequences raised questions that could not be answered in the books of that time," Mr. Cohen writes in the colorful and fascinating exhibit catalog. He felt compelled to go to Peru to study with the weavers' descendants. It was the beginning of many trips spent researching Q'ero textiles, recording the community's music and filming the often hard lives of the people.

Q'ero is an isolated community on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains, about 100 miles east of Cuzco in southern Peru. Visitors must travel 30 miles on foot or horseback from the nearest passable road to reach it, and that takes two days. The people can live self-sufficiently because the community contains three distinct ecological zones: alpaca pastures at 12,500 to 15,000 feet, potato fields at 10,000 to 12,300 feet, and maize fields at 6,000 to 6,900 feet.

Mr. Cohen happened on the remote indigenous community almost accidentally. The American Museum of Natural History in New York had given him funds to research weaving techniques and collect textiles and looms for the museum while he was researching his master's thesis. He had seen Q'ero fabrics in Cuzco stores and was hooked. He was able to travel to Q'ero with the son of the local Q'ero hacienda owner.

Visitors to the exhibit at the Textile Museum will find that the progression of colors and variations of hues will intrigue them, as they did Mr. Cohen. Exhibit curator Ann Pollard Rowe, museum curator of Western Hemisphere Collections, traces the colorful and often intricately designed Q'ero weavings from the "ch'unchu" (tropical forest Indian) images to more abstract ones in the introductory gallery. The Q'ero people weave with wool from alpacas and llamas.

On one wall, viewers can begin with a stunning photograph of ch'unchu dancers celebrating rituals. The dancers wear tall, bright-red headdresses made from the tails of macaws. The exhibit label tells visitors that "ch'uncho" is a derogatory name for the tropical forest Indians. Women's shawls nearby show how the stylized ch'uncho figure gradually dissolved into geometric patternings.

Visitors then progress from the photo to a late-19th-century "Woman's Shawl (lliklla)" with narrow design bands filled with ch'uncho figures. Mr. Cohen bought the weaving when he first went to Q'ero.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'Peru' Weaves in Colorful designs.(ARTS)(ON VIEW)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.