de Jesus Lozano (Doña Mariañita), was a pleasure to
interview. She is an indigenous woman whose mother taught her to bead when she
was 14. She brought out her photo album and showed me pictures of her life--a
lot of pictures of when she was a young woman and underwent the "novio
ceremony" to become married to her husband. Beautiful blue cloths wrapped
around them, a ceremony at the church, a return to the house of her
mother-in-law riding horses in the midst of a procession of musicians including
a drummer and an accordion player. This is a photo of her today. Below is a photo of her about 20 years ago, which she allowed me to reproduce using my camera.
She had many picture of friends who are foreigners and Ecuadorians from Loja and other cities, including photos of her friend "Lynn" who is an anthropologist and appears to have been here perhaps 20 years ago. I believe this is Lynn Meisch--will have to follow up on this. The interview with Doña Mariañita lasted about 45 minutes.
She was working on an all gold,
small-beaded huallca that was commissioned by another woman. She said she no
longer really makes necklaces for the market, because the shop keepers are very
cheap and do not pay enough for her work. She makes most of her work on
commission now, usually with the client providing special beads that she wants
used--for example the metallic gold beads she was using to make this single
color necklace were very small and fine and had been purchased in the
She allowed me to take photos of a couple of her old photos, including a shot of her mother and father some years ago. She pointed out with pride all of the things in the photo that were her mother's artesanias--including several de colores huallcas that appear to have been very much larger than the models I see women wearing now. Other artesanias included woven wool blankets, belts, red ponchos woven in the colors traditional to Cañar, and, of course, her mother is spinning with a hand spindle in picture. Her mother is looking at her spinning work, not the camera, as if she could not take time away from this basic task even to pose for a moment for what is clearly a family portrait--an interesting glimpse into the work-focused mind of this woman. Everyone else in the portrait is looking at the camera, the father with something of a smirky scowl. The elder brother even holds the family puppy so that it is looking at the camera, but the mother focuses on her handwork. Later I found out from Anita that Doña Mariañita's mother, whose name was Asuncion Lozano, was the first woman in Tuncarta to make beaded necklaces. Anita thought that Linda Belote might have known Asuncion.