The complex social and technical dimensions of weaving in contemporary Andean communities of practice are examined to suggest how these might have evolved so that populations could coordinate and make sense of their daily tasks in an emerging biocultural space. Rejecting former constructivist epistemological biases in operational studies of working practice, the article explores an alternative approach where technical practice is given meaning through ways of being in the world, and where common sense-making derives from the idea that textiles are living beings. The nurturing processes of a relational ontology where ‘making’ is ‘growing’ are traced in the patterns of learning and their gestural sequencing in weaving communities, in winding instruments that intercalate productive spheres and in finished textiles that express productive yields.
Journal of Material Culture – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018