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NOVICA Artisan Maria Cutipa

Maria Cutipa

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I was born in Cusco, Peru in 1950. I consider myself to be creative, responsible and punctual. As a girl, I was interested in the handwoven blankets and sashes that my mother created. The main thing that attracted me was to carry on our ancestors’ traditions and transmit our history through our colors and motifs.

Everything I know I learned in school and from my parents and sister. It was sometimes very difficult to find the materials and a space in the market to sell our work, but we never gave up. My family, husband and children always supported me and we managed to get ahead.

"My inspiration comes from our history of Inca weavings, which is one of the oldest textile traditions of the Andes and was one of the most highly developed during the time of the Inca empire, due to the different materials and techniques they used. This hybrid culture was created through the conquest. The Incas were able to create a great variety of apparel and weavings for everyday use.

"Inca textiles are characterized by their geometric patterns and their finely developed techniques. Their tapestries and feathered cloaks are legendary. Inca art shows an extraordinary sense of symmetry, which is reflected in the neatly organized figures.

"I use alpaca fleece, wool and cotton and do everything by hand. My greatest challenge is keeping up with fashion trends, and I need both creativity and inspiration to create unique and high quality apparel that sets me apart from others.

"One of my dreams is to create a school to train students to create beautiful woven and knitted apparel. I want my family to be a part of this venture and work together to pass on our passion to future generations.

"My textile art reflects my history, my roots and my family."