Recovering Identity Through Traditional Craft (Weaving as Healing)

In Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala, most residents are indigenous Mayans from the Kakchiquel community, where weaving on backstrap looms is a venerable tradition. But decades of genocidal war, racial discrimination, and economic dislocation has broken the tradition for many. This local weaving school has given over 1,500 women the chance to learn what their mothers could not teach them and recover their history, identity, and cultural pride. As of 2023 the organization, AFEDES, has become a major part of an influential nationwide movement of indigenous weavers. More information may be found about AFEDES at

Featured Speakers: Twenty-seven year old Ilda Coralia Mecur Yucute, a student in the weaving class (her two children play in the room); Martha Julia,  a former student and now an instructor at the weaving school in Santiago Sacatepequez; and, Anna-Catherine Brigida who provides narration about the history and present legal situation around the Guatemalan genocide. This programram was produced by Anna-Catherine Brigida. Voiceovers were done by Elle Brigida and Jeannie Gould. The WINGS Series Producer is Frieda Werden.

The Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS) has been covering the global women’s movement and related issues for community radio since 1986. Contact: [email protected].

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