Arpilleras, appliqued textile pictures bursting with color and pattern tell the stories of the women in the shantytowns of Peru

Arpilleras

Arpilleras from Peru

.country market arpillera
Arpilleras or cuadros, exquisitely detailed hand-sewn three dimensional textile pictures, illustrate the stories of the lives of the women of the shantytowns (pueblo jovenes) of Lima, Peru and provide essential income for their families.

"Arpilleras originated in Chile, where women political prisoners who were held during the Pinochet regime used them to camouflage notes sent to helpers outside. Even the most suspicious guards did not think to check the appliquéd pictures for messages, since sewing was seen as inconsequential 'women's work'.

Today, arpilleras are created in a number of cooperatives located in the dusty shantytowns of poor and displaced families that ring the capital city of Lima." Pueblos are collections of the poorest people with unemployment near 80% and few sources of income. "Often the homes are shacks composed of salvaged parts: old doors, panels of straw matting, crating and corrugated metal. Water must be trucked in to the shantytowns because there are no water or sewage systems. Often, the small income from the sale of arpilleras provides the only source of income for families displaced from their traditional lives in the mountains. For others, this income allows the family to educate their children, to provide a little better living standard. For all, it engenders a sense of community among women who are often from very different customs and cultures; it is also a way to express their creativity.

The arpilleras tell the stories of life: stories of planting and harvesting potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, grapes, corn; stories of spinning and weaving wool; stories of country life, of tending llamas, sheep and goats; stories of weddings and fiestas.

According to arpillera maker Rita Serapion, "We all have a little art in our minds and in our hands; we will leave something as a legacy for society. It will stay behind us, in another place, in another time."

From "In Her Hands" by Paola Gianturco and Toby Tuttle, Penguin Press 2000.

 

Mountain Village Harvest Scene Arpillera

The villagers here are all busy at work harvesting the potato and pumpkin crops while their neighbors tend the animals.

    10"T x 10"W. $36.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Village Mountain Life Arpillera
click here or the image to enlarge
Village Life in the Mountains

A snapshot of the villagers going about their daily lives surrounded by their gardens and animals in the background and a sacred condor soaring overhead.

17"T x 19"W. $78.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Sunshine on a Country Village

The high peaks of the Andes surround this charming little village with its industrious residents. We really love the little group of chickens on the bottom border!

17"T x 20"W. $78.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Springtime in the Mountains Arpiller
click here or the image to enlarge

Springtime in the Mountains Arpillera

The villagers revel in the beauty of their Spring gardens with their flocks in the background.

18"T x 19"W. $76.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Fish Arpillera

This delightful pink fish encloses a wonderful scene of daily life in the villages of the Peruvian Andes. Look closely and you will see shepherds with their animals, a farmer harvesting her field, women weaving, dying the yarn and spinning the wool, and another gathering herbs. The details are so finely done!

21.75" nose to tail and 15.5" top to bottom fin. $128.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Sold

A Day at the Zoo Arpillera
click here or the image to enlarge

A Day at the Zoo Arpillera

The children are thrilled with the wonderful animals and all the candy treats on their outing to the zoo!

10"T x 10"W . $36.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Temporarily Out of Stock

Market Day is Fun! Arpillera

The market is so colorful and lively, filled with bright wool and textiles and lots of veggies.

    10" square. $36.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Underwater Wonderland Arpillera

The details are simply wonderful in this unusual arpillera from the anemones and seahorse to the beautiful varieties of fish.

    19.25"W x 17.25"T. $78.00

Add to BasketView Basket

African Savannah Arpillera

Join the safari group for a spectacular sunset on the African Savannah with an amazing array of animals. I'm sure that the fellow in the back of the jeep is getting some wonderful photographs! Mt. Kilimanjaro is in the background with snow on the top.

19.25"W x 17.25"T. $78.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Sold

Summer in the Mountains Arpillera

Summer is lovely in the mountains with all the sunflowers blooming.

10"T x 10"W. $36.00

Add to Basket View Basket

The Virgin of Guadeloupe Appears to Juan Diego Arpillera

Surrounded by the beauty of the mountains of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadeloupe appears in the clouds to Juan Diego.

18"T x 19"W. $76.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Mountain Shepherds Arpillera

Shepherds live in high mountaintop villages where they tend an amazing variety of indigenous animals: llamas, alpacas and vicunas. The condor flying above is the national bird and considered an auspicious sign!

10"T x 10"W . $36.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Pueblo del Flores Arpillera

The villages are alive with carpets of wildflowers in the Springtime! There is so much detail in this lovely arpillera—it’s full of joy!

18"T x 20"W. $76.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Daily Chores in the Mountains Arpillera

A shepard girl weaves while tending the flocks of animals while her friend harvests pumpkins. The condor flying overhead is a sacred animal.

17.5"T x 18"W. $76.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Small Underwater Wonderland

Brilliant pink and red sea anemones are surrounded by a colorful school of fish.

10" square. $36.00

Add to Basket View Basket

Village Fiesta Arpillera

All the villagers are dressed in their best party clothes as they come out to celebrate!

    17.5"T x 19"W. $76.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Wedding Arpillera

The entire cast is here in this charming matrimonio scene: the bride and groom, attendants, village people  with get away car waiting in the wings.

10" square. $36.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Zoo Arpillera

The children are enjoying an afternoon at the zoo in this charming, small arpillera.

    10" square. $36.00

Add to BasketView Basket

Temporarily Out of Stock

Country Wedding Arpillera

The lucky couple in their wedding finery leave the church surrounded by all their family and friends amid the flowers of spring.

18"T x 20"W. $76.00

Add to Basket View Basket

A Day on the African Savanna Arpillera

This spectacular arpillera is just brimming with life! From the flock of flamingos in flight at the top of the herd of Cape Buffalo at the bottom, they are all here. The fabric choices are delightful on the tiger and giraffe; and on zebras and elephants. The trees and plants are all beautifully rendered with lots of texture. We especially love the hippos with their pearly white teeth!

52"T x 19.75"W. $334.00

Add to Basket View Basket


Back to What's New!

Folk Art Chronicles Blog

Folk Art from Around the World
Order and Store Information Folk Art from Africa Home
Order and Store Information Folk Art from Africa Home
Folk Art from Peru Toys and Gifts Newsletters
Folk Art from Peru Toys and Gifts Newsletters


[E-mail]
 e-mail

crown.gif - 0.68 K 1321 Fourth Street key.gif - 1.11 K San Rafael, CA 94901
turtle.gif - 1.05 K Voice: 888-276-1553 link.gif - 1.16 K Fax: 415-460-6729 crown.gif - 0.68 K

The FolkArt Gallery ©1997-2014
All rights reserved.