History of Southwest textiles and importance set to be explored

From ancient baskets to modern textiles, woven fabrics have been used by humans for centuries and some of the techniques used to create them were fine-tuned over hundreds of years right here in the American Southwest.

“The Southwestern region was home to a diverse and rich weaving history before the arrival of the Europeans,” said Dr. Julia Bussinger, director of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. “We are excited to showcase the contribution of the Mogollon peoples which continues to impact the world today — from the clothes we wear to the flags we fly.”

Over the next two weekends, the El Paso Museum of Archaeology will give patrons the opportunity to explore the importance of textiles through hands-on workshops, lectures, and demonstrations.

On Saturday, September 5, 2015, at 2 to 3 p.m., fiber artist and anthropologist Lin Bentley Keeling will discuss the development and evolution of weaving in the Southwest from the use of yucca, agave and other plant fibers through the arrival of cotton from the South.

LinKeelingIn particular, she will focus on two cotton weavings from the Mogollon tradition, one found in Bear Creek Cave in Arizona in 1914, the other in Tularosa Cave in New Mexico in 1952. Hands-on demonstrations of spinning and weaving cloth will be included during the lecture. The lecture and demonstrations is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Keeling will present Cotton weaving in the Southwest, including the Mogollon region, provides a rich and beautiful source of inspiration for the modern weaver. Participants will weave a small cotton tapestry inspired by the designs in two Mogollon weavings.

All materials will be provided for this fun and informative workshop.

Registration is required for the September 12 workshops. Admission is $3 for museum members and $5 for non-members.

To register for the weaving workshop, or for more information please contact Brittany Hutchinson at (915) 755-4332 or HutchinsonBM@elpasotexas.gov by September 10.

Author: City of El Paso