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Sunday, September 19, 1999
Agueda Martinez, 101
Family: 10 children, 77 grandchildren,
149 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great-grandchildren.
To this day, the peppery woman spends six hours at the loom. A nationally known weaver, she has exhibited her handwoven rag rugs at dozens of shows. They sell for $3,000.
The large loom fills a crowded studio in her Medanales home, where she lives with her daughter, Luisa Martinez Garcia, 71.
She grew up in Chamita and learned the art of weaving as a girl. During her peak rug-making days, she could crank out a 55-by-80-inch rug in one day. Now it takes her two weeks.
On a recent day, scissors in hand, Martinez worked on another colorful creation.
This is the happiest time of her life, she says, because she doesn't have anyone telling her what to do. And she can spend her time doing what she loves -- weaving.
She doesn't have much to say about the great events of history, except that people seem to get smarter all the time.
As for the greatest American invention: "Everything that's here is good," Martinez says in Spanish. "The airplanes will take you wherever you want to go."
Throughout the years, Martinez has received recognition for her tapestries. A weaving was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. She has been featured in documentary films.
Martinez says she passed on weaving to her children "because it's life."
Garcia, her daughter, says: "She taught me to weave just like we learned to wash dishes. We just adopted it, I guess. All the family are weavers."