Elena is one of our artisan partners who will be traveling to the Smithsonian Museum in September through our partnership with Unlocking Silent Histories. Unlocking Silent Histories aims to support indigenous youth through learning opportunities that lead to critical and creative media expression. Recently, our staff sat down with Elena to ask her some questions regarding her upcoming trip to the United States:
What is the role of backstrap weaving in your life?
For me, weaving is the traditional way to sustain the life of a Maya woman. Weaving is our work and the cornerstone of my life.
What are you most excited to see in the United States?
I’m excited to see what Washington, DC and NYC are like, how the people live there, and how the government works.
What will you miss most in Guatemala while you are traveling in the United States?
What I will miss the most in Guatemala will be the beautifully unique landscape here and the cultivation of corn.
What do you want to share with the people in the United States?
I want to share my culture and the weavings I create.
What do you want the audience in the United States to learn about Maya cultures and traditional art?
I want the audience to learn a little bit of my language–K’iche, I want to teach them how we use traditional dress in my town and why it is important. Sharing backstrap weaving with the audience, I hope they are able
to learn more about our ancestral knowledge as Maya people.