The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and
worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.
There is no other publication quite like this one devoted to maguey use in Guatemala, past and present. Rousso's photographs are excellent and provide the reader with additional information that words cannot convey.
—Margot Blum Schevill, co-editor of Textile Traditions of Mesoamerica and the Andes: An Anthology
In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist,
takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers' interactions in many locations and blending
historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and
modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.
Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey
presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike,
this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.