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In its many faces, the history of Paraguay has always been traversed by fabric. Aó is the word in GuaranI that names all its possibilities: the cloth, the garment, even the embroidery. Ao Po'i, meaning "fine cloth" in Guaraní, arose in the 19th century as a result of isolationist policies post-independence. Without access to imported cloth, Paraguayan women had to make their own fabric starting with raw cotton which was spun into thread, woven into cloth and later decorated with embroidery. Nowadays most of the base cloth is made by machine, but the needlework is still done by hand.


From their ancestors, the ao po'i embroiderers have not only inherited the ability to weave and make thread from the cotton they grow in their gardens, but also inherited the gift of telling stories and describing nature through their needles—meticulously and patiently weaving, under the shadows of the trees and in the light of day.

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