The word "Chaguar", of Quechua origin, refers to a set of six edible bromeliads and textiles that grow in the Chaco province of Argentina.
It is a common plant of the understory and the vegetal tapestry of the Chaco, and is important in the conservation of the soil of this ecosystem.
Its reproduction is done vegetatively by stolons. It grows in the forest, in the semi-shade and as it is reproduced they form colonies of different ages and sizes that are called chaguarales.
The transmission of knowledge relative to the environment is carried out through practice, experience and direct observation.
Mothers often take children to the nearby mountain and teach them to recognize plants, fruits, their characteristics and histories that are associated with properties beneficial and malignant.
Thus, women go to the "chaguarales" in group (domestic group) to collect this plant.
The duration of the harvest can be from one to two days depending on the distance they have to travel to find the chaguarales. The women travel along a main path and go into the forest as they find the right plants.
Select those plants that are the right size, leaving the smallest ones. They must also have the proper quality for which they take out a leaf, defiber and strain the fibers to know if it will be sufficiently resistant.
The collection is an important institution that acts as a teaching mechanism where you learn to distinguish the useful elements (food, dyes, medicines, among others) and read the "announcements" in the landscape and in the behavior of insects and animals.
The Spinning: Once in the house, the artisan crushes the fiber with a piece of metal or wood, scraping it with some sharp object and soaking it in water again and again. It manages to detach all the parenchymal tissue adhered to the fiber. This, thus achieved, is left to dry in the sun for five days until it is well white. Then the spinning proceeds. The artisan does it by joining several strands, twisting them with a quick movement of the hands on the thigh, which has been smeared with an ash from a charred stone, which makes the yarn softer.
The Dyeing: The dyeing of the fibers is done with different seeds and fruits collected from the forest. The Palo Santo root from which the yellow color is obtained, the fruits of the black carob tree from which a dark blue is obtained, the leaves the yellow stick from which the orange color is obtained, the cochineal (parasite of the prickly pear) of the which one obtains the red color, among others. Using a needle, the tissue is made.
The Design: As for the design, the drawings produce "abstractions of mountain animals" some are: iguana belly, mulita leather, viper skin, turtle shell, skunk leather, owl's eye among others.
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