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Clothing:Accessories:Cultural Bags:Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote
Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote
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Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote

Price: $109.00

Item#:72047

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Using a centuries-old technique, Bolivian families weave mantas—beautiful woolen textiles in geometric patterns—for use as bedding and apparel. Today, artisans take pieces of vintage mantas and frame them in soft suede and durable leather to create these beautiful totes. Features zip closure and roomy interior compartment with cell phone and sunglasses pockets. As each manta is unique, please expect some variation in color and pattern. Available in Red and Brown.

  • Handmade in Bolivia
  • Handles are 15 1/2'' long
  • 14''W x 11 3/4''L x 3 1/2''D

One of the artists involved in making these Bolivian manta bags is Julio Reas Patzi. Growing up in the country, he spoke only Quechua and tended to the family's cows and sheep. None of the family had ever seen a TV set, nor used a phone. As a young man, he traveled to La Paz to buy a radio for the family, and after seeing the economic possibilities in the city, decided to stay and help support his family back home by finding work with a leather shop.


Over his years of apprenticeship in this family-run leather workshop, Julio learned and mastered leather techniques, and learned Spanish in anticipation of one day opening his own shop in La Paz. Over the years, his brothers, sisters, and cousins joined him in the city, each learning leatherwork and coming to specialize in a product or technique such as tooling and stitching, or producing wallets and belts. Each member of the Patzi family who came to the city now run their own small studios in El Alto and the villas just outside of town. As a result, Julio's nieces and nephews and the children of his extended family back home have all been able to attend and finish school.


Maintaining a connection to his country home and Quechua roots is important to Julio, and one of the ways he does that is by incorporating textiles into his work. Quechua and Aymara women produce woolen textiles using handlooms that they call mantas or awayos—geometric-patterned fabrics used as ponchos, shawls, infant slings, blankets, and more. Women often gather the wool from their own animals, then spin, dye, and weave the yarn themselves. Julio buys vintage and new mantas from village women and incorporates them into his bags and backpacks, guaranteeing that each product is unique and fully handmade, and also giving women in his ancestral community an additional way to make money for their families.


Using a simple backstrap loom and centuries-old techniques, Bolivian families weave mantas—beautiful woolen textiles in geometric patterns. Common among pre-Inca and pre-conquest cultures such as the Aymara, some of the earliest mantas found in textile museum collections date from 1400 A.D. Warm and durable, they are used as slings to carry infants and blankets for bedding. They can also be worn either on the back, like a cape, or over the back and arms, like a shawl. Mantas usually have a simple striped pattern, and can last for generations.


Like many indigenous art forms, fewer young people are learning how to weave, and the craft is in danger of losing its place in Andean culture. By finding new uses for mantas that increase the market and appreciation for these crafts more artisans are encouraged to continue the tradition. Today, exquisite vintage and contemporary woven mantas can be found as accents in leather bags, tailored jackets, and as culturally rich examples of indigenous art independent of their enduring practical use.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote
 
3.6

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

58%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Beautiful (20)
  • Stylish (18)
  • Unique (16)
  • Good quality (15)
  • Versatile (14)

Cons

  • Poor workmanship (4)

Best Uses

  • Everyday (19)
  • Travel (11)
  • Office (9)
  • Dates / night out (5)
  • Formal occasions (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Practical (17), Classic style (13), Stylish (13), Comfort-oriented (10), Career (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (11), Yes (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love it & receive compliments regurarly

I wanted a bag large enough to hold bulkier items along with my wallet and agenda. My netbook easily fits with extra room. It also comfortably holds wipes, a couple of pull-ups,...Read complete review

I wanted a bag large enough to hold bulkier items along with my wallet and agenda. My netbook easily fits with extra room. It also comfortably holds wipes, a couple of pull-ups, drink, and snacks when i'm out with my daughter. I like the outside pockets (the tapestries) on either side of the bag (the full width of the bag). I bought the red one for my aunt a few years ago (she loves hers), and when I needed a new bag I decided to get the brown. Nice quality. It is thicker leather and I anticipate having it for some time. The leatherwork is pretty at the base.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I love these bags...but

I own a red bag that I purchased 4 years ago, and it's held up really well, and i often get compliments on it. I gave a brown bag to a friend a...Read complete review

I own a red bag that I purchased 4 years ago, and it's held up really well, and i often get compliments on it. I gave a brown bag to a friend a couple of years ago and she also loved it. When I ordered a bag for a christmas present this year, I was sad to discover that black cotton lining had been replaced by some sort of shiny synthetic black lining....not nearly as nice. The bag also had a chemical odor which dissipated when I aired it out. But still, why mess with a great thing? Where's the quality control?

Reviewed by 27 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Red tote stolen after about 10 years!

By Maggie CPA

from Seattle, WA

About Me Career, Classic, Comfort-Oriented, Practical

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Good Length
  • Good Quality
  • Stylish
  • Unique
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Office
    • Travel

    Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

    I received this as a. (requested) gift from my husband probably close to ten years ago. I used it as a casual briefcase. Jammed it full of heavy items, and hung it up, fully loaded, at home. At my office, it sat on the floor all day. I loved the was it stood tall for loading and a file folder and books fit in just right.

    I was devastated to find a few days ago that my car window had been smashed and this bag (as usual packed full) was among the items stolen. I am also concerned that if I order another one the quality will not be like the original which was perfect - all seams still intact, leather nicely mellowed. Dates not on reviews so can't tell if all OK now. MM 3/19/16.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Tapestry Tote

    By PAPA

    from Augusta, Georgia

    About Me Classic, Stylish

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Beautiful
    • Good Length
    • Good Quality
    • Stylish
    • Unique
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Everyday
      • Formal Occasions
      • Night Out

      Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

      All I can say is my girlfriend has abandoned all of her pricey bags in favor of this one.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Simply amazing bag, LOVE it!

      By Oxana

      from Vancouver, Canada

      About Me Classic, Practical

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Beautiful
      • Good Length
      • Good Quality
      • Stylish
      • Unique
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Everyday
        • Formal Occasions
        • Night Out
        • Office
        • Travel

        Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

        After having a hand crafted leather bag from NG, I realized that can not have an ordinary (mass production) bags any more. This bag has "soul", it was made by people who know their craft perfectly. It is a very high quality product, very beautiful. I have a red one - the colour is amazing! I really hope that people who made this beauty and thus shared their positive energy with me, were adequately rewarded for their work.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Distinctive and stylish

        By Joan C

        from Dallas, TX

        About Me Comfort-Oriented, Distinctive Artistic, Modern, Stylish

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Beautiful
        • Ethnic Classy Textural
        • Good Quality
        • Stylish
        • Unique

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Everyday
          • Office
          • Travel

          Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

          Love this bag. The colors and textures are rich and so different than all the bags you see in the major retailers. We just returned from a trip to Peru and I was enamored with the beautiful woven textiles. I didn't see a bag like this, so I was delighted to come across it here. In regard to some of the reviews, my bag did not have a strong smell at all. I looked carefully at the stitching and it looks very well constructed. I'm pretty picky and I am very pleased with this bag!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          I love it. I want another.

          By Colleen, the retired/

          from Applegate, Ca.

          About Me Classic, Comfort-Oriented, Just retired, Modern, Practical, Stylish

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Beautiful
          • Good Length
          • Good Quality
          • It's Beautiful
          • Stylish
          • Unique
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • No Cons Whatsoever

          Best Uses

          • Everyday
          • Formal Occasions
          • Night Out
          • Office
          • Travel

          Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

          This is my purse. I was going to save it for special outings, but it is so comfortable, roomy, and stylish, I end up grabbing it every time I walk out the door. It's the best item I own (except my car) at this time!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Exactly what I wanted

          By just ME

          from Houston, TX

          About Me Career, Modern, Practical, Stylish

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Beautiful
          • Easy To Keep Keys Cell
          • Good Quality
          • Great color

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Everyday

            Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

            I carry this purse everyday and it is holding together beautifully. No problem with interior, no problem with bad smell. The leather of the straps is not of greatest quality leather but it is not cracking at all. I can keep my keys in one outside pocket--easy to get & my cell on the other outside pocket. This is just the way I wanted it. I wish the interior of so many purses weren't black though!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Unique and beautiful purse

            By Kristin

            from Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii BC Canada

            About Me Career, Practical, Stylish

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Beautiful
            • Good Quality
            • Stylish
            • Unique

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Everyday
              • Office
              • Travel

              Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

              It is a unique looking purse, I have received several compliments on it.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Beautiful but not well made

              By Cleller2

              from Landrum, SC

              About Me Comfort-Oriented, Practical, Stylish

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Gorgeous
              • Unique

              Cons

              • Inside Seams Do Not Last

              Best Uses

              • Everyday

              Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

              My husband bought this purse for me for Christmas 2013. I love the colors ( I have the red). The seams started ripping a few weeks ago. First one of the inside pockets, then the outside pockets. The outside of the purse is leather and suede, and should last many, many years. I wish the inside was just as sturdy. Very disappointed. I receive many compliments on this purse and hate to have to shelve it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Outside seams and Lining very poor

              By Feathers

              from Spencer, NY

              About Me Classic, Comfort-Oriented, Practical, Stylish

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Unique

              Cons

              • Poor Workmanship

              Best Uses

              • Everyday

              Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

              Christmas 2012 gift from my mother-inlaw, within just a couple of months the lining had ripped at nearly all the seams. I've gotten so many compliments on this bag and love the look, but I'm really disappointed when it comes to the quality.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Really Disappointed

              By Clusterliver

              from Candia, New Hampshire

              About Me Stylish

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Beautiful
              • Unique

              Cons

              • Poor Workmanship

              Best Uses

              • Everyday

              Comments about Bolivian Tapestry Suede Tote:

              A very attractive tote that my wife liked for a long time. I purchased it and couldn't believe the stench that accompanied it. We aired it out for over a week, both indoors and outdoors, with no improvement. Had to return it. There have been similar complaints on this article and NG appears to have ignored customers. Quality control is lacking and NG should remove this article from the catalog until this problem is resolved.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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