“I made your hat” – Introducing Zoila Morocho4 years ago
Zoila Morocho was taught to weave at 6 years of age. She is now 56 years old and has six children, the oldest of which is 41 years old, and the youngest is 16 years old.
They all weave when there is no farming work for them – their main livelihood. She lives in the Campo (countryside) as do most of the weavers, tending to the animals, planting seeds and harvesting the crops. During the planting of the seeds and the harvesting they can only weave in the evenings.
They generally weave from 7.00a.m until 10.00a.m. then 12.00p.m. until 6.00p.m, and sometimes the whole day if necessary. Most have electricity but some do not and it strains their eyes. Pachacuti has a programme in place to pay for eye tests and supply glasses or cataract operations for them.
Many of the weavers are older than 80 years of age, and they are happy to be weaving and still producing beautiful hats of Paja Toquilla. It gives them a sense of purpose and pride, and keeps them socially integrated. We are happy the weavers still dedicate their time to the art of weaving, but within a couple of generations there may be no weavers left.