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Mr. Tinoco has traveled to the United States to teach traditional Andean Weaving techniques and ancient Incan traditions to schoolchildren.

Master Weaver Leoncio Tinoco is one artist whom in association with National Geography has assisted.                     (PieceWork  issue, March/April 2001 )




Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzman“ medal.


I was born between looms, yarns and wool, and grew up surrounded by plants, lichens and rinds, the same which form part of myself.  I regard the loom as the ideal friend. Here, I have developed the technique of the “Relleno”, consisting in arranging dyed, unspun wool in a way that the woven textile appears like a painting.

 With the help of wool and yarn, our ways of life and emotions are made a tapestry; works which unite different cultural modes of expression - poetry, music, singing and dancing - or life itself.  This is my passion, my hope, my life, and my dream.”


Leoncio Tinoco Rodríguez was born in San Pedro de Cajas, a province of Tarma, on September 27th, 1954.  He is the son of Don Feliciano Tinoco Meza, a master weaver since the first years of Leoncio’s life; thus he comes from a family known for their designs and quality of their weavings.  Leoncio is married to Doña María León, also a weaver as well as his great collaborator.  Additionally, he is the director of the “Cultural Center of Popular Arts”, Sumacc Wanka, actively participating with his own creations together with other artisans, to enable children and beginners to learn the Weaving, Spinning, Natural Dyes, Gourd Carving, Ceramics, Jewellery Making  and others techniques of crafts.

 Together with his father and two sisters, Juana and Haydee, Leoncio participated in various exhibitions.  In addition to this, he has earned an outstanding individual reputation, due to his innovative and artistic designs, and has achieved great acclaim both nationally and internationally.  This thorough knowledge enables this master artisan to teach the traditional weaving techniques of San Pedro de Cajas.



His artistic works helped him win many prizes, among them the “Premio Nacional Inti Raymi de Artesanía” in 1995,1996 and 1999, and the ultimate prize, “Amauta de la Artesania Peruana” in 2001, awarded by Mitinci and Prompex..  In the year 2000, he had the opportunity to participate in a press conference in the United States, and to demonstrate two fields of his art, natural dying and textile, at the Garfield High School and the Mark Twain Middle School in Los Angeles, California.  
In February 2002, he was a guest lecturer at a conference in Manhattan, New York, hosted by Novica and National Geographic.  In October of that year, he participated in the first “Meeting of Andean Artisans“, in Bogota, Colombia.  He was recently recognised by the Commission of Cultural Heritage in the Congress of Peru, and awarded the “Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzman“ medal.

Mr. Tinoco was quoted as saying, “Our feelings, our emotions, our lives are weaved into the tapestry. That’s what we sell”.

“The Internet is a very important window for artists world wide”, said Tinoco. “It helps us reach a lot of people. ( The Herald  issue, December 19, 2000 )      

"For me, as a member of the Novica family of artists, this alliance with National Geographic reaches beyond any dreams or expectations I could have imagined," said Leoncio Tinoco, one of 1,700 artisans featured on the website. Speaking from his home in the Andes of Peru, the Master Weaver added, "One year ago, I struggled to sell my tapestries -- even tapestries that had won significant awards here at home. Now, with Novica, I can earn my living as an artist and feel honored to represent my Incan heritage to the world."

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