Maguey Journey: Discovering Textiles in Guatemala
The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.
In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workersÕ interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.
Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.
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agave aldeas Alta Verapaz Atitlán backstrap loom baskets bolsas braided Camposeco Mateo 1994 Ch’orti Chiquimula cintas coffee color Comapa Concepción Tutuapa cotton cross-knit dyes El Quiché El Salvador fiber extraction fixed-vertical looms Guatemala City hammocks harvested Huehuetenango Jacaltenango Jocotán Jutiapa knit leaf leg spinning located loom-woven loops maguey bags maguey fibers maguey industry maguey leaves maguey plants maguey products maguey workers Marcos la Laguna María matate Maya mecapales Mexico morrales municipalities Nebaj o’Neale olopa osborne Pablo la Laguna palm Parsons and Parsons photo essay fig plastic ply-split darning quetzales Quiché redes region rope saddlebags Salvador San Andrés Huista San Cristóbal Verapaz San Juan Cotzal San Juan Sacatepéquez San Marcos San Pablo San Pedro Pinula Santa scraped Seiler-Baldinger 1994 soaked sold Sololá spinner spinning wheels spun maguey sticks strand strap taravilla technique textile tool traje treadle loom warp weavers weaving women woven