To speak is to thread and the thread weaves the
In the Andes, the language itself, Quechua, is a
cord of twisted straw,
two people making love, different fibers united.
To weave a design is pallay, to raise the fibers,
to pick them up.
To read in Latin is legere, to pick up.
The weaver is both weaving and writing a text
that the community can read.
An ancient textile is an alphabet of knots, colors
that we can no longer read.
Today the weaving no only "represent," they
one of the being of the Andean cosmogony. (E. Zorn)
Ponchos, llijllas, aksus, winchas, chuspas and
chumpis are beings who feel
and every being who feels walks covered in signs.
"The body given entirely to the function of signi-
A textile is "in the state of being textile": awaska.
And one word, acnanacuna designates the clothing,
and the instruments for sacrifice (for signifying,
I would say).
And the energy of the movement has a name and
a direction: lluq'i,
to the left, paña, to the right.
A direction is a meaning and the twisting of the
transmits knowledge and information.
The last two movements of a fiber should be in
a fiber is made of two strands lluq'i and paña.
A word is both root and suffix : two antithetical
meanings in one.
The word and the thread behave as processes
in the cosmos.
The process is a language and a woven design
is a process re-
"An axis of reflection," says Mary Frame:
attributes are images of the fabric structure,"
The twisted strands become serpents
and the crossing of darkness and light, a
"Sprang is a weftless technique, a reciprocal
action whereby the interworking of adjacent
elements with the fingers duplicates itself
above and below the working area."
The fingers entering the weave produce in
a mirror image of its movement, a symmetry
that reiterates "the concept
of complementarity that imbues Andean
The thread dies when it is released, but comes
alive in the loom:
the tension gives it a heart.
Soncco is heart and guts, stomach and conscience,
judgement and reason, the wood's core, the stem's
The word and the thread are the heart of the
In order to dream, the diviner sleeps on fabric
made of wik'uña.