The ASUR Indigenous Art and Textiles Museum of Sucre, Bolivia
is currently located at the top of a hill high above the city, half a block from the Recoleta
Church plaza and the Mirador city overlook. The museum features hand-loomed weavings by women of the nearby town of Tarabuco and other textile artists who weave at the museum so tourists can actually watch as they make their beautiful creations.
Their works of art (placemats, wall hangings, blankets, ponchos, leather purses with woven fronts, and much more) are also for sale at the museum along with numerous other handcrafts made by local indigenous artists, such as ceramics.
A wooden loom is used to create intricate traditional designs such as llamas, jaguars, serpents and other creatures from the indigenous mythology. The women have handed down their skills from one generation to the next and the designs are woven completely by memory. It can take three to four months to hand weave a piece of cloth 60x40 centimeters in size. On the upside, Bolivian textiles have been known to last for over a thousand years.
The museum also has a video viewing corner with a large-screen television where you can watch a documentary that explains the history of weaving, the procedure, and information about ASUR and the history of the museum and some of the artists. The museum consists of two large halls filled with woven items and is currently building a new facility to house hundreds of items that are currently in storage. The new museum that is being prepared is one block from the current location. It is a non-profit organization. Your purchase directly benefits the artists who are members of this cooperative.
The museum can be located by walking down a small passage to the right of the Mirador overlook, just past a small open market and directly across the street from the Casa Kolping hostel. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 - 12:00 and from 2:30 - 6:00 and Saturdays from 9:30 - 12:00 and 2:30 to 6:00. There is no fee to enter.