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Curated Submission
San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
95 x 21
Materials & techniques
Cotton; Supplementary weft
Gift of Annette Langley
Textile Museum of Canada T2010.9.2
On February 4, 1976, Guatemala suffered a devastating earthquake. Its effects were particularly disastrous in the rural areas of the country where the majority of the indigenous population lives. Canada was the first country to mount an effective program of aid and reconstruction, ably administered by the Canadian Embassy under the direction of the chargé d’affaires, Clive Carruthers. Initially the program concentrated on the village of San Andrés Itzapa, which had been completely flattened by the earthquake. Volunteers were recruited to work on-site, and were later joined by members of “The Plenty Group,” who assisted the Maya people in their efforts to rebuild.

The local people expressed their gratitude in a variety of ways. Their principal expressions of gratitude were woven, the most touching being the hand-loomed tributes presented to the Canadian ambassador (1975–79) to their country, James Coningsby Langley. This small woven panel depicting angels and a communion chalice carries a dedication that can be translated as:

I made this for you, Mr. Ambassador, and I thank you for your help and that of the government of Canada and may the angels sing in chorus for the people of Canada who are of good heart. San Andrés Itzapa 1976. Woven by Lucia Velasquez.

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