|Weaving Contest at CTTC in Chinchero (note the man in the background dipping into a tub of chicha)|
The contest was in Chinchero and hosted by the Centro De Textiles Traditionales de Cusco (CTTC). My wife, kids, sister-in-law and I walked into the compound to see Andean ladies and gentlemen decked out in their best traditional attire with gorgeous mantas draped all around. Almost all of the mantas were stitched-together squares, a sign that villagers had worked separately on their pieces and had sewn them together at the end. When the director saw me she motioned me over and asked the village ladies to make some room on the front row bench for me while my family watched from the back. A cup of chicha was brought over to me and we watched presentations from each village on what their manta represents and how it was made. Besides the host village of Chinchero, the CTTC supports the villages of Chahuaytire, Pitumarca, Patabamba, Accha Alta, Santa Cruz de Sallac, Mahuaypampa, Santo Tomas and Acopia and each of them had mantas on display.
Each presentation was done in Quechua dialect so I had some trouble deciphering what the ladies were saying. I was impressed with the fact that in addition to supporting these villages with aid, health care and providing a market for their textiles, CTTC was also grooming leaders who could speak up and address a crowd and be an advocate for their village.