The late Twentieth Century has been a time of rapid change and globalization, threatening the livelihood and culture of societies around the world. Traditional craft work is being abandoned or simplified by indigenous craft-persons under pressure from industrialization. Meanwhile, industrialized factories continue to chase cheaper labor, abandoning the communities that relied on them for economic substance. Communities on either side of industrial manufacturing, those who are beginning to feel its influence and those who have lost their manufacturing base, are both vulnerable to economic hardship and its incumbent pressures on culture and community. This research examines two seemingly disparate case studies from either side of the industrialized continuum: the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, Peru, and Alabama Chanin in Florence, Alabama USA. In both of these examples, textile handwork is being used by members of each community to revive craft work, increase pride in their cultural heritage, and supplement local’s incomes.
|Keywords:||Cultural Heritage, Rural Community, Cultural Sustainability, Women’s Work, Craft, Textiles|
Assistant Professor, Department of Art, College of the Arts, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USA