Como Hacer Artesanía de Cabuya - Asociación Mujer y Medio Ambiente

Uploaded by comuntierra on 19.01.2013

Woman and the Environment Association Plaza Gutierrez, Intag, Ecuador - August 2012
Good afternoon, welcome to Plaza Gutierrez, the oldest town in the Intag region of Ecuador.
We are part of the 'Woman and the Environment Association.'
We are just a few, in total we are 31 women producing crafts from the Cabuya cactus.
In the beginning the idea was to make some money for our homes,
because as women we worked in many things, but nobody paid us for our work.
So we didn't feel valued because we did all the house work and nothing else.
Now we feel better because, I repeat, we feel more valuable knowing what we do
and where we are going.
We are women that can make decisions, and good decisions, for something good.
Harvesting the Cabuya
These Cabuya plants mature after 3 years. years.
When the leaves are open we begin to harvest, and we harvest each year.
We cut these thorns because we have to carry them on our backs.
We always leave part of the plant with leaves, because if we cut them all
we would kill the plant and for the next year we wouldn't have leaves to harvest.
We have to carry them, no matter how far away the plants are...
Extracting the Fiber
This machine is called the shredder...
Washing the Fiber
We wash with water, nothing else. The cabuya fiber produces a soap-like substance.
That's why when we scrub it some foam comes out.
Usually we put the cabuya in the river and wash it like this, moving it in the river...
it's a lot faster.
Once the cabuya is harvested, shredded and washed the cabuya is taken to dry.
As you can see, the plaza here is a strategic place to dry the Cabuya.
There we have to keep moving it continuously each hour more or less.
So then, when the cabuya is dry, we start to dye the colors to produce our crafts.
Natural Dyes
This is 'chanchi,' if we humans eat this it's quite toxic and can be deadly.
We only use it to dye the cabuya. This is the blue that the chanchi gives us.
If we want it to be lighter, with the same plant we can also make this color.
This is the leaf of a plant we saw earlier called 'Jucuna,' for this one we use the bark.
When this bark is cooked, it produces a yellow color like this, this yellow.
This is a plant called 'chilca,' it grows wild, we find it everywhere...
Cooking the cabuya with the chilca we get a green color, this green.
This is the 'nogal' which is the base to paint all the other colors
because it fixes the other colors that we use.
Before, during, or after, we always use the nogal!
I'm putting in some 'Achiote' to boil a little while, and then I'll put the cabuya.
The color we are brewing right now, gives us a tomato color, really bright...
but you can also make this color. This one we leave for longer,
this one for less time, and the color varies using the same Achiote.
The water has cooked up the dye, and now I'll put in the cabuya fiber.
Once in the pot, I'll leave it overnight, letting the fire die down naturally.
The color will be a yellow... it's like a yellow.
The Next Day
We wash the colored water out of the fiber...
and then we place it in the sun.
Once dry we send it to make thread.
Making Thread out of the Fiber
My name is Fabíola Ries, I'm also part of the women's group.
All the women bring fiber to me, the color they want, for me to make the thread.
We have to untangle the cabuya, wax it, and then we put it here, where we comb it.
It's like we are combing the cabuya.
You have to be a good hairdresser to do this!
After that we place the cabuya on the ground, and roll it onto this stick.
And from there we bring it to make the thread.
This is the thread... this spool, when full, has about two pounds.
I make a pound in about 2.5 hours.
This is 1 pound!
This is the star stitch. A few hours during the day, I can weave.
After breakfast or lunch, when we are going to rest... we weave... little by little.
I'm making a handbag that has a leather base and then cabuya,
and I have to use different colors. colors.
This is a carpet that takes about 2 full days to weave.
Always when the item is finished we have to burn the loose cabuya fibers that stick out.
Now it's finished...
Everything is done by hand, we do everything at home
while we are doing the work we have to do in the house.
Everything is painted with natural plant-based dyes...
and we produce different bags, wallets, hats, belts, carpets, many different items!
Thanks to our friends in Plaza Gutierrez!