María-Elena Pombo

"K´itha Tarwi?"
Pronouns: she / they
Artistic Discipline: Cultural Heritage
Category: Brooklyn Arts FundCharlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrpreneur Fund
Grant Year: 2024
Location: East New York

In 2016, archaeologists from George Washington University found a piece of a 6,000 year-old indigo dyed textile at Huaca Prieta, an ancient site in Peru. Until then, the oldest indigo-dyed fabric in existence was believed to be a 4,400 year old piece in Egypt. This piece gives a new perspective on the technologies developed across the American continent by its original inhabitants. K´itha Tarwi? is a large-scale public-art installation inspired by this discovery. It is done in partnership with F&T Auto Repair Shop, a car-repair shop in Bushwick owned by a Peruvian family. Parts of the building housing this car-repair-shop will be covered with fabrics dyed with indigo sourced from an organic farm in El Salvador. One of the few that commercializes native American indigo. The piece will be inaugurated during New York Textile Month on September 7th in a day-long block party.