The Importance of Weaving
The Woman of Trama is a photo series made in the Western Highlands of Guatemala in the communities Pujujil, San Martín Sacatepéquez, Santa María de Jesús and Chirijox.
In these communities woman work for the organization of Trama Textiles, an NGO based in Quetzaltenango.
The organization was founded during the 36-year civil-war in responds to the destruction of Mayan culture by woman who lost a great deal of their family in the struggle.
People disappeared and never came back. Others were brutally murdered in front of their eyes.
Finding means to survive the woman relied on the ancient tradition of backstrap loom weaving. A tradition that goes back hundreds of years which combines craftsmanship ans cosmology.
Realizing the benefits of collaboration the organization was founded to strengthen and maintain their cultural heritage.
The designs and colors all have a meaning, they tell stories of their shared past and hard everyday life. But is also represents their spiritual beliefs, where the natural world is powerful and things are connected on a greater scale.
Although the peace accords were signed in 1996 the indigenous people, the biggest ethnic group of the country, are still being marginalized and many of them live in poverty.
The most vulnerable group are indigenous woman living in the highlands according to the UN World Food Program.
But with the help of Trama Textiles the woman are able to feed their families, maintain their cultural traditions, share their knowledge to other generations and sent their children to school.
Their colorful textiles are a visible proof of their existence.