Photo by Allan Hardman
In every workshop or journey I have ever attended with Allan Hardman, he always sets up his beautiful altar in the center of the room — beginning with an antique Peruvian “Manta” (fabric). For me, it has come to symbolize ceremony and magic, and I finally have one of my own from Allan’s collection. They can be used for decoration, inspiration and personal ritual.
Mantas are made in a traditional style using a hand-spun wool blend that usually includes Alpaca. Allan beholds these fabrics with awe, because two identical pieces are made and sewn together in the middle. It is done this way because the looms are not big enough to weave the entire piece. If you look closely, you can see the stitching in the middle, bringing the two pieces together. Natural vegetable dyes are used to create the deep and earthy colors. Mantas come from the villages that rest between Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru. Much of the ways of life and spiritual beliefs are woven into the fabric of the Manta. The native people of this land revere the earth, animals, sun, stars, and mountains.