The Importance of Women and Weavin In the Greater Southwest Essay

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The Importance of Women and Weavin In the Greater Southwest Throughout time, weaving, of both basketry and cloth, has had a tremendous impact on Southwestern cultures. Robert Graham, author and Southwest textile expert, has stated, "The most ancient historical and archaeological investigation demonstrate that textile was a highly developed art by the time writing began, and in many cultures before writing began" (Graham 23). Where written records are not available, decorations on structures and pottery show that the production of clothing encompassed a vast part of practically every Southwestern culture. Weaving has played an important role in the economy, the interaction between weavers, and the acknowledgment of community gender …show more content…
"The products include robes, mantles, belts, loin clothes, skirts, shirts, head and foot gear, blankets, mats, hammocks, cradles, baskets for transportation, storage, cooking, and winnowing, fish and game traps and nets, and cords or ropes for many uses" (Graham 1). The materials used to make these products were gathered from animals and vegetables, such as rabbit, dog, bison, human, insect larvae, cotton, flax, hemp, palm, willow, yucca, and grasses. Sandals were the standard footgear. They were made of yucca and apocynum until the Pueblo Period and the advent of cotton. These people were heavily dependent on weaving for almost every aspect of their lives. Without weaving, they could not shelter themselves with clothing during cold seasons or transport necessities such as food and water. Before the expansion of weaving, life was extremely demanding and laborious for Southwestern cultures, as they traveled frequently to any place that offered hope for survival. As people struggled to prosper, some cultures were able to find locations that could support them for lengthy periods of time. "The commencement of weaving is symptomatic of a people’s becoming sedentary" (Means 450). Southwestern cultures were becoming able to create established communities, thereby substantiating trading, networks, and gender roles. Their ability to stay in one place allowed them to spend less time
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