The textiles of Mount Quichua women

(Santiago del Estero, Argentina)

Carpet with floral motives (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Rocca Bassetti donation

Here we present an overview of textile production in Santiago del Estero through a selection of bedspreads from the private collection of Andreina Rocca Bassetti, donated to Mudec in 2016.

Carpet with "damero" motifs (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Santiago del Estero

The region of Santiago del Estero is one of the driest and poorest in Argentina. It boasts a thousand-year-old culture that dates back to the pre-Hispanic past and has been preserved, with changes and innovations, until the new millennium.

Carpet with diagonal lines pattern (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Carpet with polychrome zoomorphic motifs (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Carpet with zigzag motifs (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Santiago textiles

This wealth is reflected in the production of textiles. Their characteristics of portability and visibility make these artefacts a true banner of values and knowledge passed on by local weavers: exceptional artists who have always known how to innovate this tradition.

Carpet with "open arms" pattern (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Women resilience

Santiago's textiles are evidence of how women have been able to develop great cultural resilience by combining it with extraordinary adaptability, creating an undercurrent in the textiles that assimilates external cultural inputs and shapes them to fit their own world.

Carpet decorated with horizontal lines (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Carpet with decorative pattern (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Carpet with floral motifs (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Becoming fashionable

Since the late 1980s, historic textiles from Santiago del Estero (19th and 20th centuries) have become fashionable and are now mostly collected in private collections, without any documentation of how, by whom and in what context they were produced and used.

Carpet with flowers and human figures (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Preserving memory

A documentary film has also been made, 'Huarmis sachamantas' ('Women of the Mountain'), the result of fieldwork carried out by MUDEC researchers and director Federico Ferrario in Santiago del Estero in July 2019. You can watch it on youtube.

Huarmis Sachamantas

documentary film, 2019 (22' 52'')

Carpet with triangle pattern (20th century (first half)) by Quechua Peoples (huarmis sachamanta) of ArgentinaMudec - Museum of Cultures

Mi cama es un jardín

The Rocca Bassetti donation is presented in 2020 with the exhibition 'Mi cama es un jardín' ('My bed is a garden') at Mudec.

Credits: Story

Mudec - Museo delle Culture

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