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Awana

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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.

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