Alba Herminda Beltrán
Cook, hat maker, Gachantivá
Alba Betrán uses the palmiche palm, which grows in the Andean Highlands, to make tapia pisada hats in a style that dates back to colonial times. She also uses the tapia pisada technique of braided palmiche woven with fique strands to make placemats, bags, and coasters. In her kitchen, she prepares the traditional highland wheat arepa. In her farm, Alba grows blackberries and tomate de árbol (tree tomatoes) to help support her family.
"My mother learned from my grandmother, and, among her daughters, I was the one who continued with the hat-making tradition."