The Mayans created the loom because they used it to make clothes, rugs and tents. The parts to the loom are called the warp,the shaft,the shuttle and the wand. The warp is a rope used for the base of the loom so you can weave in between the strings. The shuttle holds the string so you have something to hold the string. The shaft is kind of a stick that goes in between the lines and flips up and creates a space for the shuttle to go in between the string and makes a stitch. The wand is used at the end to push down the string and then take the string off the loom. I think the experience was awesome. It was so amazing to think who ever made this must be really smart.
The Back strap loom is still used today by Native Americans in Central America. The loom with the weaving in progress can be rolled up at any time and carried from place to place. This was good for many Native Americans who traveled to different places and needed to move their stuff from place to place so they used ones they could move around with them.
Looms were used by many ancient civilizations including the Egyptians, India and China. What is amazing is that the Mayans developed the exact same technology at the same time as the others even though they were separated by a vast ocean. The loom designs stayed pretty much the same until 1785, when Edmund Cartwright made the first power loom and set up a factory in Doncaster, England to make clothing. Even so, the wooden loom is still used in villages all over the world today. And most recently one was being used in our living room. Check out photos from our first weaving project below.