Collegian photo by Timothy Gyves


June 10, 1999

Attention: Arts Editor

Contact: Lucía Saavedra; voice (914) 876-6551; fax (914) 876-7438; e-mail

Traditional Master Weaver Coming to the New York Area

Miguel Andrango, Master Weaver from Agato, Ecuador will return to the New York area where he, and his brother Manuel, were warmly welcomed last July. While Otavalo is known as the textile center of Ecuador, Agato is known for its more exquisite designs, more subtle colors, and finer, more traditional, weaving technique, resulting in very elegant wall hangings, rugs, blankets, ponchos, belts, etc.

Miguel is the head of the Tahuantinsuyo Weaving Workshop, famous for its traditional weavings created on a backstrap loom from hand-spun wool and natural dyes. You won't see these fabrics in the tourist markets for they are works of art highly valued by collectors and serious textile consumers. Miguel Andrango is a master in creating double faced weavings using complementary-warp pick-up and multiple heddles techniques.

The Andrangos' workshop is devoted to maintaining the ancient traditional methods starting with the dyeing process using plants, flowers, roots, herbs and birch. The entire process serves as the center around which their Andean culture solidifies, an art which has been transmitted from generation to generation in the male line.

Miguel has been invited around the world to display his "art of weaving with the waist and the back" or callúa in his native quechua language, and is listed in travel guides as a special attraction for the savvy traveler. It is really a treat to see him at work either at his spinning wheel or at his backstrap loom.

While in New York, Miguel and his daughter Luz Maria will be doing demonstrations and selling their weavings at the Union Square Greenmarket, on Saturday, June 19, and July 3; and at the Rhinebeck Crafts Fair at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, on June 25, 26, and 27. They will be only exhibiting and doing demonstrations at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, on Sunday, June 20;and July 4. The Andrangos will also be guest artists at some of the local schools during the last week of classes.

They will leave New York State on July 5th to participate from July 8 through the 11th in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA for the third straight year.

For more information, call Lucía Saavedra at (914) 876-6551.