[ECUADOR] The House of the Macana

The House of the Macana

By Tirzah Russell de Franco

On any day, in a valley of the Andes Mountains you will find Don Jose Jimenez and his family at home – weaving.  They are 1 of only 15 families left that still make the tradicional Macana, a multicolor ladies shawl.  They use only natural materials such as cotten and wool.  Don Jose showed us big clay pots with natural dyes taken from flowers, nut hulls, and a fastener made from ashes.  Don Jose works the weaving loom and when by- passers like us come he gives a little tour. His daughters seem to be the experts at finishing the fringes on the shawls and showing off the finished products to tourists like us who try them on.  The traditional weavers can’t compete with factories that spit out shawls of synthetic fabric and colors, but there is definitely something special about sporting a beautiful handwoven shawl even if it costs more! Besides, technically no 2 shawls are exactly alike. If you ever come to Ecuador come and visit Jose Jimenez and family!

IKAT La Casa de la Macana
Via Cuenca – Gualaceo KM 10 San Pedro de los Olivos

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