“The pattern that connects is the pattern that corrects,”- Interviewing a woman weaver

7 07 2011

“The pattern that connects is the pattern that corrects,”- Gregory Bateson

Interviewing a woman weaver

Although I learned quite a lot about the Guatemalan armed conflict throughout the early 80s and 90s in class, the immensity of the conflict and  the effect it had on the general population seemed abstract for me.  In Nebaj, I finally started to comprehend the amount of damage done.  One of my tasks was to interview Jacinta, a woman weaver.  Jacinta is a woman in her mid fifties who has been weaving since the age of 14.  Within 3 questions, I learned that she had been weaving all her life other than during her mid teens, in which she had to move out of Nebaj due to the violence in the region.  Her parents and other family members were murdered, and she was scared for her life.  She moved to Guatemala city to make tortillas, and moved back after the violence subsided.  It was hard for me to conceptualize the fact that this cheerful soft spoken woman had witnessed the death of her parents.  Though the violence ended over a decade ago, the scars still remain.

 

 

As we continued with the interview, I learned that Jacinta typically only sold one item a week.  She typically only made 10-20Qs ($1.50-$2.50) on each beautifully woven piece, as the price mostly covers the materials.  Jacinta has 6 children in her family, and her sole income is weaving.  This reality really clarified the immense need in the community, and inspired me to help.  As I left the interview, she hugged me and gave me a bracelet in thanks for helping her.  Even though we had only just met, she was confident that I would help her and had good intentions.

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