On our second day in Sucre we visited the Museo de Arte Indigena or Museum of Indigenous Art. The museum is part of a project to revive hand-woven crafts of Bolivia. The exhibition provides a historical time line of the Candelaria, Potolo and Tarabuco styles of weaving. There are ancient and current tools on display as well as a variety of beautiful pieces of work for sale.
As part of the demonstration local weavers on site create their own tapestries. It was amazing to watch these two talented young women at work. I could not help myself but to engage them in conversation about the projects they were working on.
Felipa is a 20 year old from Potolo, Bolivia who has been weaving for five years. She works 8 hours a day; 6 days a week and it will take her 3 months to finish her project.
I asked her how she knows what design she is creating, as I did not see her looking at a guide or picture. “I have it in my head,” she answered. I was impressed. Felipa told me that in her home town of Potolo families have mini shops in their home where tourists can come and buy the works of art right from the home of the local people.
Elizabeth is a 24 year old from Tarabuco, Bolivia who has been weaving for 8 years. She also works 8 hours a day; 6 days a week and it will take her 4 months to finish this project.
The entrance fee for the museum is 16 Bolivianos per person (about $2.20 USD.) There is also a shop on site at the museum where visitors can purchase various types of tapestries and other items such as change purses made with a touch of each style of weaving.