Posted by: lavernewaddington | December 24, 2009

Backstrap Weaving-seasons greetings from Bolivia

A little ”taste” of Bolivian Christmas fare……….

Paneton and cola de mono

Instead of Christmas cake or pudding we have paneton, or Christmas bread. This is a mini paneton-they usually come much larger than this!

The drink is cola de mono-literally ”monkey’s tail” and is a traditional Christmas drink in Chile. During my five years in Chile we had this every Christmas but it was always home made and, therefore, always slightly different as everyone seemed to have their own recipe. The typical ingredients are coffee, milk, vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg and cloves and a white alcohol, like white rum, pisco or aguardiente. I managed to find a bottle of it made here in Bolivia for this Christmas.

Those festive little llamas are bread dough figures that I bought in Ecuador. The town of Calderon, near Quito, is famous for these handmade figures. Bread dough baby figures were originally made and the practice has pre- Columbian origins when the figures were associated with death and burial rituals. The rituals were modified with the arrival of the Spanish and mixed with Christian traditions and are now made for All Souls’ Day ceremonies in November each year. Originally fashioned from corn, pumpkin, honey and beeswax, the figures are now made from wheat flour and heavily varnished for durability. All kinds of figures are now  made  and sold all year round.

Bread dough figures from Ecuador

Finally, they are all seated on a little pinwheel cloth that I have been making with a rigid heddle on my backstrap loom.

Salud! and happy holidays to all!!



  1. Joys of the season to you! Thank you for the neat picture and information.

  2. Thank you so much for the colorful and informative lesson you sent to all of us. I especially love all the handmade items.

    Happy Christmas and New Year to you.

  3. Thank you so much for tis colourlul display.All these remberances of your tme in Chili reminded me vey much ofour time in Columbia, when all my children wre still very youngand there used to be s living nativity on the steps of teh cathedral in Bogota and everyone wanted to touch my then youngest just a baby in arms and called him el nino Jesus probably because he was a fairheaded child. I will nevee forget and it is one of my modst precious memories from Bogota

    • Thank you so much Marjo for YOUR lovely story-what a wonderful experience!

  4. Happy Holidays, Laverne, and thanks for sharing your backstrap weaving knowledge with us here and on weavolution!

    It Italy they have a Christmas bread called pannetone which is the same shape as yours in the picture above. I wonder if they are related . . . I love the cute bread dough figures too.

  5. Happy Christmas Laverne!
    The little figures are just gorgeous, and your pin wheel woven fabic just divine !!!

  6. Thanks so much for the very festive holiday greeting.
    A very Merry Christmas to you from beautiful No. Calif.

  7. Thank you for this insight into your customs Laverne. I love the little dough dolls. I’ve seen some tiny “worry dolls” which look quite similar. You are supposed to tell them your troubles, then put them under your pillow and they take away your worries while you sleep!!
    Merry Christmas to you from Devon in england!!

  8. Dear Laverne and all the other blog-readers,

    wish you a merry christmas. Thanks for the information about your christmas tradition. In germany the “Christstollen” is very famous (you´ll find a picture here: ). It is a kind of very rich and heavy yeast cake. With lots of dried fruits and butter. You bake it 4-8 weeks before christmas and it changes its structure and taste till ready to eat. Before the serving you melt butter and brush the cake several times with it and sprinkle with a lot of powdersugar. The shape should remind of the christ child which was wrapped in cloth (you fold the dough to the middle, overlapping).

    • Thanks Tiia,
      Oh boy, that sounds and looks so goooood!

  9. Happy Holidays, Laverne! Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. You have added a touch of sunshine into our lives with your delightful presentations. I will look forward to more back strap fun in the new year.
    Sincerely your friend,

  10. Hi Laverne
    Enjoyed reading this – am now printing out to show the others those little dough figures. Mmm – making me hungry just in time for the next meal:)

  11. Hermoso blog y preciosos trabajos!! Espero poder aprender a utilizar este hermoso telar


  12. Hi Laverne and everybody !
    Thanks for your greetings, I send you all my best wishes for this New Year coming, plenty of nice weavings…
    Thanks again for all you teach us very patiently…
    See you !

  13. Okay, survived Christmas. The tree and decorations are put away. Now to prepare for the new year!

    Have a Happy New Year!

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