In this Book

Maguey Journey
summary
The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.

In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers' interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.

Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Part I
  2. p. xvii
  1. 1.Guatemala
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. 2.People of Maguey
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. 3.The Western Highlands
  2. pp. 9-23
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  1. 4.The Central Highlands
  2. pp. 24-29
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  1. 5.East and North
  2. pp. 30-42
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  1. Part II
  2. p. 43
  1. 6.Maguey
  2. pp. 45-50
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  1. 7.Fiber Extraction
  2. pp. 51-70
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  1. 8.Colors and Patterns
  2. pp. 71-73
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  1. 9.Spinning Fibers into Strands
  2. pp. 74-83
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  1. 10.From Strand to Product
  2. pp. 84-107
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  1. 11.Maguey Products and Their Uses
  2. pp. 108-111
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  1. Part III
  2. p. 113
  1. 12.Maguey Economics
  2. pp. 115-121
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  1. 13.Maguey in Transition
  2. pp. 122-126
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  1. 14.Conclusion
  2. pp. 127-131
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  1. Appendix 1: The Language of the Bag
  2. pp. 133-134
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  1. Appendix 2: Bags, from Beginning to End
  2. pp. 135-136
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  1. Appendix 3: Fancy Saddlebag Components
  2. p. 137
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  1. Appendix 4: Mayan Terminology
  2. pp. 139-141
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 145-148
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 149-153
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  1. Further Reading
  2. pp. 155-157
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 159-162
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 163
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