Wheaton Conversations: Weaving Life – Maya Fiber Arts

Wheaton Conversations: Weaving Life~ Maya Fiber Arts. Two images: Detail of embroidered fabric with a diamond design in blue, yellow, green, and magenta. Image on the right shows a pair of hands threading a needle through a piece of rich purple fabric.

Wheaton Conversations:
Weaving Life – Maya Fiber Arts
with Ana-Maria Zaugg & Barbara Knoke

6 p.m. on September 16, 2021

Explore the amazing story of the Maya textile arts as they are studied and presented by the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Clothing in Guatemala, and the U.S.-based Friends of the Ixchel Museum (FOIM). Ana-Maria Zaugg of the FOIM will briefly introduce the work of both institutions and their role in preserving, protecting, and understanding the Maya fiber arts as an important cultural legacy and a living tradition of the Maya people in Guatemala and the U.S. She will also present her personal perspective on safeguarding Maya textiles as part of her cultural heritage. 

Anthropologist Barbara Knoke will further elaborate on the role of the textile tradition in Guatemalan Maya lives, especially its use as a visual artistic expression of ethnic identity. She will discuss the transformation and continuation of the weaving traditions and deeper meanings of woven symbols such as the tree of life, star, double-headed eagle, corn, turkey, and others.

Tejiendo Vida: Arte de Fibra Maya
con Ana-Maria Zaugg y Barbara Knoke

16 de septiembre de 2021, 6 pm

Únase a nosotros para explorar la asombrosa historia de las artes textiles mayas a medida que son estudiadas y presentadas por el “Museo Ixchel del Traje Indígena”, Guatemala y los “Amigos del Museo Ixchel (FOIM)”, con sede en Estados Unidos. Ana-Maria Zaugg del FOIM presentará brevemente el trabajo de ambas instituciones y su papel en la preservación, protección y comprensión de las artes del tejido maya como un importante legado cultural y una tradición viva del pueblo maya tanto en Guatemala como en los Estados Unidos. Ella presentará también su perspectiva personal sobre la protección de los textiles mayas como parte de su propia herencia cultural. La antropóloga Barbara Knoke profundizará sobre el papel de la tradición textil en la vida de los mayas guatemaltecos, y especialmente, su uso como expresión artística visual de la identidad étnica. Ella discutirá la transformación y continuación de las tradiciones del tejido, así como los significados más profundos de los símbolos tejidos como: árbol de la vida, estrella, águila bicéfala, maíz, pavo y otros.

This event is part of “Wheaton Conversations,” a virtual series highlighting select & diverse artists with ties to WheatonArts. To see the full schedule of conversations, Click Here. 

A Headshot of Barbara Knoke.

Barbara Knoke de Arathoon, Guatemalan, has a Master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Wayne State University, Michigan. She is an associate researcher at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Dress, where she was technical director (2005–08) and exhibitions director (1991–2008). She is an international speaker, has written books and articles on the indigenous textile tradition and is co-author of Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (2010). A permanent member of the Academia de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala (Academy of Geography and History of Guatemala) since 2000; she has held different offices in its Board of Directors and was president from 2013 to 2015.

A Headshot of Ana-Maria Zaugg.

Ana-Maria V. Zaugg has an MBA dual degree in Marketing and International Business from Columbia University. Also an MA in Latin American Studies (concentration Anthropology) from Stanford. Her career was mainly in marketing, with an emphasis on strategy. She worked at Merck (international pharmaceutical marketing), McKinsey (management consulting in both Australia and the US), and IMS (global pharmaceutical marketing services). 

Ana-Maria’s mother was a first-generation American from Guatemala. Ana-Maria visited the country every third summer as a child, then annually as a teen.  Now retired, she devotes considerable time to Museo activities. She is also keen to advance the US knowledge of Mayan weaving excellence and tradition.

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