arte indigena

Museum

The Museum consists of a reception room and 9 exhibition rooms. Also, weavers can be seen giving live demonstrations of the techniques used in the creation of their textile designs.

In Bolivia native handcrafts are often viewed as second class. One of the principal objectives of this museum has been, therefore, to promote contemporary indigenous art, particularly ethnic textiles.

The installation of these exhibition rooms as well as each article on display along with the accompanying information serve to highlight the uniqueness of each work, while at the same time provoking an intimacy between the spectator, the aesthetics, and contents of indigenous art.

Martina Llampa

History of ASUR's Museum

The Museum of Indigenous Art was concieved as an integral part of the Indigenous Art Renaissance Program. Initiated by ASUR in 1986, this program started with the principal objective of revitalizing the traditional textiles of two cultural groups, the Jalq'a and Tarabuco, and through their sales the generation of additional resources in indigenous communities disadvantaged through land erosion and isolation. Today this program numbers more than 800 associate female weavers organized in 17 communal workshops as well as 200 male tapestry weavers and embroiderers reviving pre-Columbian techniques and organized into 14 male production units.

This museum is a popular tourist attraction that brings together two cultures, the indigenous and the urban, in an intimate manner. The information supplied allows the visitor to come closer to an understanding of the images while exploring their content.

People from Qarallantayuj

This Museum…

…reveals the astonishing and unsettling beauty of Jalq’a and Tarabuco textiles, the complexity and profundity of the ethnic and cultural creative thought that brought them to life, as well as the highly technical quality, also so full of meaning, all combined in a dense web of expression and content.

It is, therefore, a testament to those indigenous women artists and artisans --and now men also-- who have developed and conserved to this day their own original culture, with roots lost in the depths of their pre-Columbian past.

The museum is also a testament to the past and present work of the Indigenous Art Renaissance Program, processes that have been developed, not solely in monetary income for each family, not only in providing dignity for the role of women, but also representing what may be considered a spiritual movement. The weavers now have at their disposal hundreds of fresh designs whose constant renewal stimulates their creativity. We are witnessing a renaissance of indigenous and popular art, as well as the increased professionalism of its creators.

Finally, this museum is a witness to a process of reflection, a permanent meditation by the weavers themselves on their art and on their productive activity, without which there would be no development. We who guide and accompany this process are also involved in a parallel reflection, in which the potential of Bolivia’s ethnic and cultural diversity for the country’s future is constantly present.

Jalq'a Women

© Copyright ASUR 2013. All rights reserved. Site created by Ian Mackinnon from an existing design.