In the canton Biblián, province of Cañar, the First National Meeting of Weavers of Straw Toquilla ended on Thursday. This event was held within the framework of the seven years of the declaration of Intangible Cultural Heritage of this craft.
The toquilleras of Paute, Gualaceo, Biblián showed their products in the central square of the canton, where a gastronomic fair was also organized, with very typical dishes of the area such as alpaca roast, a preparation that tourists liked.
The kawsayapi drink was also offered, which is made on the basis of fresh fruits from the field, such as chamburo, tree tomato, blackberry and other elements. The mayor of Biblián, Guillermo Espinoza, stressed that a hat symbolizes the workday of artisans, a work that has been the livelihood of many families.
“Here is the sacrifice, pain, effort, crying, hope for better days,” said the municipal authority. In the province of Cañar is the “Father Rafael González” Handicraft Production Cooperative that markets its creations under the “Bibilak” brand.
The organization was born in 2015 at the initiative of the Municipal GAD of Biblián. It currently has 120 artisans, 75 of them remain active and produce 600 hats. These are marketed locally, nationally and internationally.
In addition, since its creation, “Bibilak” has exported 24,000 straw hats to Spain, Italy and the United States. Zoila Chimborazo, leader, said the association started from scratch, but now they already have orders from various parts of the world. He also indicated that the price of the hat has improved in recent years.
For Ana González, specialist Responsible for the Unesco Culture Program in Quito, it is important to promote intangible assets. “It is important to know that the State also has responsibility together with local governments to safeguard this heritage.”
Rosa Guallpa, weaver of Biblián, indicated that she has been working in this field for more than 40 years, “this comes from generation to generation. My mother knitted every day, ”said the woman who showed the skill in her hands with the straw. He added that making a hat takes two days.