In the remote Andean community of El Cisne in Ingapirca, Ecuador, one of the first things you’ll notice is children’s laughter. In a courtyard, women gather with their children to trace ancestral knowledge and memories — and they do this using wool.
The alpaca wool that helps them reconnect has been carefully sheared, cleaned and the combed into a soft material that will be easier to spin and work with.
While the practice of spinning and weaving has dwindled in the community, as other work takes precedence, most of the women gathered here have some knowledge of the activity. They’ve learned by observing their own mothers, grandmothers, aunties and other adults.
Reviving and helping strengthen ancestral knowledge is one of our goals as researchers and educators facilitating a project called Uncommoning in the Andes. The project is part of the Climate Action Childhood Network — an international group of educators and researchers who create and experiment alongside young children and early childhood educators to generate responses to climate change.
Read the full article by Assistant Professor Cristina Delgado Vintimilla in The Conversation Canada.