Paticipant Thoughts - Sophie Desrosiers
Present weaving practices have always been complementary to ancient textiles research in my experience with silks in Lyon, reading Marta Hoffmann, or working in the Andes. We learn a lot from observing present weavers, and also asking them about the reasons why they spin and weave in a certain way. The same problem finds sometimes the same solution even among people who never met. The observation of warp-faced weaving by a Bani Hamida woman this morning has been one more confirmation as she uses exactly the same tool to press the weft as Bolivian weavers today. Here she uses a gazelle horn, there they use a lama bone, but both have the same size and are handled almost in the same way to do the same thing.
For the next meeting, I suggest to have also weavers present their life and their choices, together with archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, artists and pedagogues. I took part in a “weavers encounter” in October 2012 in Cuzco (Peru), and it was also a very intense moment for all the different professionals. I am not sure it would be better than this first try, but at least it would be probably as interesting.