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Multicolores: Guatemalan Rug Hooking

Project continues with great success

By: Mary Logue interviews Mary Anne Wise

Installing the booth at the International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Front Row, Yolanda Calgua, Reyna Pretzantzin. Back Row: Kathleen Parish, Doug Spencer, Mary Anne Wise, Jody Slocum. JODY SLOCUM

In 2006, Mary Anne Wise went to Guatemala with Jody Slocum, who worked with a non-profit coffee company there. She saw the amazing textiles, the handwoven huipiles the women wore, the rolling landscape—but she also saw the grinding poverty, the discrimination against the Mayan culture, and the tragedy of a horrible landslide that buried a village. Mary Anne, a textile artist herself, and Jody joined forces to help the Mayan women.

In 2009, they started a rug-hooking project in Guatemala, teaching women to make rugs using their own vibrant color palette and design elements. The results were amazing.

It’s six years later—and a new non-profit has been founded, now working with over 60 women across seven communities in Guatemala. The group has sold their rugs at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, and Mary Anne and Jody have started a shop in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, selling textiles from all over the world.

This article is from the September/October 2015 issue. For more information on our issue, check out our issue page.


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