(Viewsexpressed in this article are the personal opinion of the Author, a narrationof her experience.)
On my first consulting trip to Peru in 1994, I told a groupof assembled government dignitaries that my goal was that the child of a weaverwould choose to become a weaver when offered the choice of a good factory job.This means that the weaver should be elevated from the humble place he occupiedand be compensated for his skills to at least the level of unskilled industriallabor. As a weaver myself, I wanted to see the long illustrious tradition ofweaving in Peru continue and thrive. As a consultant in crafts development, Ienvisioned a variety of markets opening up for all Peruvian crafts as thiscountry emerged from a period of isolation imposed by terrorists.
As I have worked with people in other counties, my belief hasstrengthened that traditional craft skills will only be preserved ifcraftspeople can sell what they make. While it may be nice to have objectspreserved in museums, scholars studying the place of crafts in cultures, andcraft artists in developed countries replicating techniques, I would like tohave descendants making objects with their hands in the place where the skillsoriginated.
Thisarticle was originally published in the 12th Biennial Symposium, TextileSociety of America, 2010.