In a June 2105 ceremony in Gualaceo, east of Cuenca, the art of ikat weaving was officially recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of Ecuador. According to anthropologists, the practice predates both the Spanish and Inca in southern Ecuador. Ikat is a Malay-Indonesian term for a dyeing technique that is “one of the most complicated approaches to dyeing found anywhere in the world,” according to the Smithsonian Centre for Education and Museum Studies. It is a “resistance” technique where an agent resistant to the dye, traditionally cabuya cactus fibre in Ecuador, is tightly wrapped around parts of the…
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