Mayan Backstrap Weaving With Sari Monroy Solís

We are so excited to have Sari Monroy Solís, a Maya Kaqchikel/Xicana fiber artist, join us for this workshop on Mayan backstrap weaving.

About Mayan Backstrap Weaving

Weaving on a Mayan backstrap loom is an ancestral art that dates to time immemorial and continues to be used today. It is a traditional expression of culture and identity in Indigenous communities of Central and South America.

In this workshop, you will learn about the history of the backstrap loom and how to use it to make brocade cloth. You will learn to weave with the help of your teacher, Sari Monroy Solís, who was taught to weave by her elders and community in Guatemala. The class will use 100% cotton thread and work with a traditional wooden loom while learning the history of its structure and its connection to Sari's culture and identity.

Throughout the workshop, students will:

  • Gain a better understanding of some of the many scientific crafts of Indigenous women of Mesoamerica that are used to create traditional textiles
  • A deeper appreciation of how textiles and looms are part of Indigenous culture, roots and identity in Guatemala and other parts of the world
  • Learn the history and techniques used with Mayan backstrap looms
  • Receive their own loom that they will take home to continue learning and practicing

Join Our Workshops

We hope to see you at an upcoming Mayan backstrap weaving workshop! Registration is required, so be sure to reserve your spot early. This workshop is appropriate for ages 15 and up.

Saturday, May 4th, from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at Brisbane Library

Thursday, May 9th, from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at North Fair Oaks Library

Saturday, May 18th, from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at Pacifica Sanchez Library

Saturday, May 25th, from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at Half Moon Bay Library

Saturday, June 8th, from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM at Millbrae Library

About the Artist

Sari Monroy Solís is a fiber artist and grows her roots ever deeper and more southward while living in the diaspora in Northern California. Her father came from the Maya Kaqchikel community of Valle de Panchoy, Sacatepequez, Guatemala, and her mother from the highlands of Veracruz, Mexico. There are ancestral backstrap loom weaving traditions on both sides of her roots, and Sari has dedicated herself to researching these, from the colors of the leaves, the trees, the copal and roots to the earth, the fungi, the sand, the salt and each element involved. Sari teaches traditional backstrap loom weaving within the context and history of where these arts come from and how they have continued to be a source of rooted identity and culture. She restores and documents old Mayan güipiles, makes cordage of thread and tries her hand at needlework, blending both Mexican and Mayan embroidery techniques to honor both sides of her ancestry.

Knowing that roots deepen with community and connection to people, she can sometimes be found in Guatemala and Mexico, spending time with her elders foraging, making pigments, experimenting with natural dyes and making plant medicine. She acknowledges the feelings of disconnection and loss that come from living in the diaspora, but resists them by growing the deepest roots possible and building a community that overcomes borders. You can always find her teaching somewhere, quite often at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco, opens a new window (among other places), and you can follow her on Instagram at @theblueweaver, opens a new window.