by Krystal Paco
Guam - Although he spoke little Chamorro and his grandmother, master weaver Tan Elana Cruz spoke little English, Mark Benavente credits his strong foundation in the craft to her.
Benavente, who started weaving at 25, addressed Rotarians Wednesday, whipping up a basket in a matter of minutes.
"When I first learned it I didn't know that there were that many types of weaving out there and so the internet been very helpful. I didn't pick it up again until I was 38 and my wife bought me a DVD on how to weave and it just kind of took off from there," he explained.
From fish traps to baskets to ornaments, jewelry, and animals, he does it all adapting his style from other countries including Africa. He admits it's a trial and error craft and he's also experimenting in fabric dye and recycled materials.