The UCLA Library invites visitors to step into the role of cultural anthropologist as they look upon dozens of hand-woven textiles from Chiapas, Mexico, in a new exhibit at Powell Library. “Weaving Generations Together” opens Oct. 5 and runs until Dec. 15, in the Powell Library rotundas. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. in Powell.
These textiles can be used to track the cultural shifts that occur as a developing village reaches industrialization, and the corresponding changing roles for women. The exhibit will show historical changes to fabric and design method from 1969 to the present.
These changing styles reflect a shift in the Zinacantec hamlet of Nabenchauk from a substistence economy in the 1970s to a more commerce-based economy in the 2000s. The availability of new, cheaper materials and the development of a commercial economy has allowed women weavers to move from “community creativity,” where all garments are structured similarly based on the needs of the community, to “individual creativity,” where the innovative mindset of each weaver is reflected in their unique garments. These textiles can be used to track the cultural shifts that occur as a village economy moves from subsistence and agriculture to money and commerce, and the corresponding changing roles for women.
This exhibit is curated by UCLA’s Patricia Greenfield.