Material Culture, Indigeneity, and Temporality: The Textile as Legal Subject

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Gloria E. Chacón


Anthropological and ethnographic scholarship examining textiles in Mesoamerica has traditionally focused on gender, cultural continuity, space/place, its semiotics, and its reproduction of the universe. Literary studies approaches interpret this corpus as another form of literacy, discourse, and ontologies. Recently in Indigenous movements, weaving and textiles have acquired a more politicized edge. In 2019, the question of textiles inspired a flurry of discussions around intellectual property, and, especially, copyrights. This article examines the epistemological divides between authorship and weaving, commons and community, temporality and ancestors and how decolonizing the tenets of intellectual property law may help protect indigenous weavings. 


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