From Bolivia with Love

- July 1, 2012

“A benefit reception for Unay Pallay in Candelaria, Bolivia...”

If you go to a lot of benefits and other fundraisers and you are like me, you probably wonder if these events benefit anyone. Metamorfosis Documentation Project's Benefit Reception for Unay Pallay Asociación de Tejedoras Indígenas de Candelaria benefits LOTS of people and your $35 contribution will go quite far.

I have written about Metamorfosis before and the wonderful work they do and have done documenting the arts and culture of indigenous peoples in South America. This reception, in collaboration with the New Mexico Women’s Foundation, will assist Armando Espinosa Prieto and Craig Johnson, of Metamorfosis Documentation Project, in their efforts to bring Unay Pallay Indigenous Weavers’ Cooperative members to attend this year’s International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. The reception will help defray significant travel and related costs for Santusa Quispe and Eleuteria Flores, who will be representing Unay Pallay at Folk Art Market.

Metamorfosis Documentation Project has been working for the past three years on a collaborative project with Unay Pallay Indigenous Weavers’ Cooperative and the community of Candelaria to document their traditional celebration of Todos Santos (Day of the Dead) and will be presenting their documentary of Todos Santos at the Santa Fe Art Institute this fall.

Unay Pallay is located in Candelaria, a small Quechua village in the southern Andes of Bolivia. The renowned weaving tradition of the region's Tarabuco culture utilizes centuries-old traditional techniques and patterns, featuring hand-spun hand-dyed wool. The work incorporates important cultural symbols and its figurative designs recount cultural legends and myths.

In 2006, Santusa and Eleuteria worked closely with Alisa Woofter, a Peace Corps volunteer, to bring Unay Pallayinto together as a cooperative and build the Museo Centro Cultural de Candelaria (Museum and Cultural Center of Candelaria). The Cooperative´s mission is to provide economic opportunities for the traditional weavers of the community. Santusa, a master weaver has, for the last five years, offered weaving classes to interested members of the Cooperative. 

Recently Santusa was approached by Fomento Cultural Banamex (Banamex Cultural Foundation) for inclusion in their initial edition of the large format art book, Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular Iberamericano (Grand Masters of Iberoamerican Popular Art). Fomento Cultural Banamex is known for its highly regarded series of similar books, including “Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular Mexicano”. This new book will be Fomento Cultural Banamex’s first compilation of the “best of the best” folk artists from throughout all of Latin America.  

The Benefit Reception, to be held at 1122 Old Santa Fe Trail on July 10 at 5:30 p.m., will feature a weaving demonstration by Santusa Quispe, a multi-media presentation of the Weavers’ Cooperative and a silent auction of artwork by Armando Espinosa Prieto.

For more information, contact Metamorfosis Documentation Project