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ATTENDING FOLKLORIC EVENTS
ATTENDING COMMERCIAL EVENTS
CHILDREN - FAMILIES - SENIORS - HANDICAPPED
Cultural National Intangible Heritage by the Ecuadorian Government.
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Monday to Sunday 08:00 - 17:00
The House Museum of La Macana by José Jiménez is located in Gualaceo, province of Azuay, northeast of Cuenca. The "paños de Gualaceo" or macanas are internationally famous.
These cloths are Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ecuador since 2015. Its craftsmen preserve the tradition combining ancient techniques with current sales strategies. That is why Jiménez opened his home to the public more than a decade ago.
Fine knotted cloth from Gualaceo was the original name of the garment. But an anecdote tells that back in the 60s of the 20th century, a citizen from Bali, Indonesia, visited the canton. She realized that the weaving technique of the Gualaceo cloth was very similar to the Indonesian ikat technique. She suggested that Gualaceo's weaving should be called by the same name. Since then it has become known throughout the country and abroad.
José Jiménez always proudly shows his workshop, his museum, his tools and ways of working to those who visit him. He is an expert in the extraction of colors or natural pigments, which in a liquid state he preserves in ceramic vats. The process of obtaining a cloth begins with the warp. Up to 2,000 cotton threads are separated and the whole is placed lengthwise in a frame to be stretched and tied or knotted with cabuya.
At this point the magic begins, because each knotting is a design in itself: birds, insects, popular characters, plants, geographical features. Everything is possible. The knotted threads enter the jars with natural dyes and after drying they go to the waist loom of Cañari origin. A very old machine. Jiménez weaves thread by thread, a framework that can vary in duration, depending on the complexity of the figures. It is a work of much patience.
In his museum, Jiménez shows a blue and white mace that belonged to his grandmother a century ago, which was later inherited by his mother and then his wife when they got married. Film actresses and members of European royalty wear his creations. She is the fifth generation in her family to weave cloth. He considers himself the main defender of this wonderful craft in Ecuador. The visit to his workshop costs $1 and the tour lasts half an hour.
The macanas are an essential part of the clothing of the famous cholas Cuencanas. They are used daily as well as in special events. In recent years, the macana has been used to design objects: ternos de vestir, shoes, tablecloths, cushions, wallets, scarves, vests.
In Gualaceo, there are still about 12 families who weave macanas. Among them are the Orellana and Cárdenas families.
ADDRESS OR VENUE
Km 10.5 El Descanso-Gualaceo road, San Pedro de los Olivos sector, Province of Azuay, Ecuador