Author Talk: “Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos”
April 25 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Join authors and textile experts Maren Beck and Joshua Hirschstein as they share their knowledge, photos, and stories of the unique textile-based culture of Hill Tribe Laos. Textiles will be on display.
The traditional weavers of NE Laos, and in particular the Lao Loum and Tai Daeng people of Xam Tai in remote Houaphan Province, have been weaving beautiful and intricate silk textiles under their homes for, they themselves claim, over 250 contiguous generations; it has been their means of transmitting their cultural inheritance as well as a backbone of the local economy.
Today, the art of sericulture, textile and loom design, natural dyeing and weaving is still vital and central to the lives of these people, and the dedication to textile creation continues to provide the primary cultural and economic foundation for the regional communities. The encroachment of the modern world provides both new challenges and opportunities for these artists as they seek to adapt with their cultural integrity intact.
Spouses Maren Beck and Joshua Hirschstein have been exploring, documenting and purveying the traditional textile arts of hill tribe Laos and Vietnam since 2005. They are the owners of Above the Fray: Traditional Hilltribe Art, and the authors of “Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos: Textiles, Tradition and Well-Being” (Thrums Books, 2017), the winner of the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Travel. They live in Eugene, OR.