Friday, 2 December 2022

Textile Details

'Mamá Rayhuana', Anonymous. (Photo: Jürgen Schaffer)
'Mamá Rayhuana', Anonymous. (Photo: Jürgen Schaffer)


Title of Textile:Mamá Rayhuana
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Peru
Year Produced: 2008
Size (cm): 30cm x 30cm
Materials: Scraps of material handsewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Book

This handsewn textile book, using vibrantly coloured fabrics, depicts an old Peruvian legend of how the world evolved. We are told that many years ago, after a long period of drought the people had nothing to eat. The little Yuc Yuc bird, with its yellow beak and legs assured the people he would bring them food from the Goddess Rayhuana; food which she kept closely guarded.

The Yuc Yuc asked his friend Papamoscas for help. In an instant when Mamá Rayhuana was not vigilant, Papamoscas threw a handful of fleas into her eyes causing her to scratch and let go of her child Conopa. An eagle snatched Conopa. However, all the birds returned Conopa safely to Mamá Rayhuana when she shared seeds and food with the humans.

To the people of the coast, she gave beans and sweet potatoes. To the people of the Islands she gave potatoes, ollucos and quinoa. The forest people received bananas and Yuca. The men learned to till the land and harvest crops and they were never hungry again.

These ancient themes of food insecurity, violence, the close connection of indigenous people to the land and children caught in the chaos of conflict all find resonance in present day Peru. A recent Peruvian arpillera “Violencia en Ayacucho/Violence in Ayacucho” (2009) depicts a child’s memories of the military arriving in Ayacucho, reminding us that the Conopa’s experience is universal, current and all too frequent.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Jürgen Schaffer

Textile exhibited at: Cultural Stories in Textiles, 25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010
'Arpilleras Aus Chile' -Eine Retrospektive, 6/05/2010 - 28/05/2010
Arpilleras and the Poetry of Survival, 10/05/2011 - 9/06/2011
War-Torn Children, 1/03/2017 - 15/04/2017
(Des) Tejiendo Miradas / (Un-) Stitching Gazes , 15/01/2021 - 1/03/2021

Textile Detail Image(s)

  'Mamá Rayhuana' (photo of inside of book), Anonymous. (Photo: Jürgen Schaffer)