Quechua women weavers
Play Video
Film

Awana

Length: 12 min.
Age Level: 8+
Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

In this short film, we meet women weavers in the remote town of Patacancha, a traditional Quechua community in the south of Peru. In South America, weaving is one of the oldest human skills. The backstrap loom, still used in parts of the Andes today, has been around for more than 10,000 years. Today, this ancient process meets the 21st-century marketplace as the women of Patacancha, Indigenous to the Andean highlands, create beautiful textiles in the Incan style for consumers across the globe.

Within the textiles, the women of Patacancha weave the stories and memories of their ancestors, passing down and preserving important cultural traditions and heritage. Traditionally, weaving brings together the entire community, with extended families sitting, talking, and laughing for hours together outside near the loom during the dry season. The skill of weaving is passed down from mother to daughter; girls learn to spin alpaca and sheep wool as young as 3-4 years old. In Awana, a Quechua weaver and her family demonstrate the beautiful, intricate, and labor-intensive process of making a woolen scarf by hand over the course of a week.

More to Explore

Film Child in tree
An Invitation

An ancient prophecy of the Indigenous peoples of Quichua, Ecuador, speaks of a time when the eagle and the condor fly together. A Quichua elder and healer tells us the time of the prophecy is here.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Photo Essay
The Art of Making Wool

Mimi Luebbermann raises sheep at Windrush Farm in Petaluma, California, where she works to educate the public about wool and fiber arts. 

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Film Native master carver Joe Martin
The Canoe Maker

Master carver Joe Martin, one of the few traditional craftsmen left, makes dugout canoes used by his people, the Pacific Northwest Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Watch Anytime, Anywhere

Watch our films on your phone, tablet, or connected TV.