has traveled to the United States to teach traditional Andean Weaving
techniques and ancient Incan traditions to
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
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
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.
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
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.
Tinoco was quoted as saying, “Our feelings, our emotions, our lives are
weaved into the tapestry. That’s what we sell”.
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 Novica.com 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."