“Los Petates” / “The Petates”

2020 - 2021.

Los Petates.

The Petates

Donde sea que voy desenrollo mi petate, acomodo suavemente mis tesoros: ovillos de hilo, hojas de chala, yuyos que encuentro por ahí, maderitas que se hacen telar. 

Me siento, tejo, ya estoy en casa. Mi tierra, mi Sudamérica, es portátil. Me hermana con lxs que emigraron (y emigran),  con lxs que hilan mientras caminan desde siempre.

Trabajo con lo que tengo, me acomodo en cualquier suelo, rescato lo que se olvida. 

Despacio separo fibra por fibra, despacio las entrecruzo. Despacio, pero sin pausa, sigo caminando.

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Wherever I go, I unroll my duffel, gently arrange my treasures: balls of yarn, husk leaves, weeds that I find around, little pieces of wood that become a loom.

I sit down, I weave, I'm already home. My land, my South America, is portable. I sister with those who emigrated (and emigrate), with those who spin while walking forever.

I work with what I have, I settle on any floor, I rescue what is forgotten.

Slowly I separate fiber by fiber, slowly I cross-link them. Slowly but surely, I keep walking.

*Petate: del náhuatl petatl. 

Aunque su uso es básicamente el de una cama, el petate también tiene otras funciones: el lugar donde se alumbra, donde las mujeres se arrodillan para moler el maíz, el lugar donde los pueblos prehispánicos ponían sus altares. Su fabricación requiere de un trabajo arduo: cortar las hojas de los  juncos, secarlas, escoger las adecuadas para el tejido. 

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*The Petates

 

Wherever I go, I unroll my duffel, gently arrange my treasures: balls of yarn, husk leaves, weeds that I find around, little pieces of wood that become a loom.

I sit down, I weave, I'm already home. My land, my South America, is portable. I sister with those who emigrated (and emigrate), with those who spin while walking forever.

I work with what I have, I settle on any floor, I rescue what is forgotten.

Slowly I separate fiber by fiber, slowly I cross-link them. Slowly but surely, I keep walking.

 

* Petate: from Nahuatl petatl.

Although its use is basically that of a bed, the mat also has other functions: the place where women give birth, where they kneel to grind the corn, the place where the pre-Hispanic peoples put their altars. Its manufacture requires arduous work: cutting the leaves of the reeds, drying them, choosing the right ones for the fabric.

Ph: Damián Wasser, Gabriela Nirino