I became a Lila Downs fan when she performed in Santa Fe, NM perhaps over 12 years ago. At that time her fashion sense was pretty much ‘Dead Head’ exotic-hippie-Mexicana. I loved her long ribbon braids and pieces of traditional heavily embroidered Tehuana skirt fabric that she somehow managed to keep on her hips during her dynamic songs. Well, things have changed, baby – and now she has a designer (Mane’ Alta Costura of Oaxaca) making her still-indigenous based costumes, to my great joy, from traditional traje /regional clothing and textiles of Mexico. Since I’m a collector/documenter of Mexican traditional textiles, I certainly recognize the original pieces. But how they’ve been transformed! All I can say is , WOW! ! !. I’ve been collecting images of some of her most original uses of these beautifully woven or embroidered textiles and the creative ways they’ve been reconstructed into lavish and sometimes ‘over the top’ creations.
I hope you enjoy this slide show (many of the images are from past performances featured on Lila’s FB pages) and for those interested in “Living Textiles of Mexico”, I’ve identified the original village or region, where her textiles are from. After all, Lila’s mother is from Tlaxiaco in the Mixteca area of Oaxaca and Lila spent part of her childhood there, and currently spends part of the year in Oaxaca, living, performing and doing philanthropic work by supporting education for young rural indigenous girls. She knows the traditional origins of her clothing, most are from Oaxaca her home, and she’s proud of it! They are the very best of the best Oaxacan traje !
VIVA LILA – Fashionista Mexicana! VIVA the traditional trajes of Oaxaca!
Here’s a YouTube vido I just made for this post – and my favorite song – ‘La Cumbia del Mole’
Posted in Clothing, Mexican Fashion | Tagged Lila Downs, Lila Downs clothing, Lila Downs costumes, Mexican costumes, Mexican traditional textiles, Mexicana fashion, Oaxacan textiles, traditional textile repurposed, upcycled costumes | 3 Comments »
Returning to Chiapas after two years, a NEW world class textile museum was waiting to be explored. The Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya is located in the Convento Santo Domingo in San Cristobal de las Casas, which underwent extensive renovations to accommodate Guatemalan textiles from Formento Cultural Banamex Collection and the Pellizzi Collection of Chiapan textiles. Excellent state of the art lighting, displays and investigative opportunities await the visitor. Signs are in English and Spanish and many of the textiles are from the 1970′s – 80′s considered a renaissance period for Mayan textiles. As a collector I certainly was happy to see excellent examples of ceremonial garments from Chiapas, Guatemala and three perfect cross-stich embroidered huipiles from Yucatan. These are included in the following slide show. If you are ‘doing textiles in Chiapas’, don’t miss this museum as well as the Sergio Castro Collection – open evenings by appointment and explored in a past post.
Posted in Mayan World Textile Museum, Museums | Tagged Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya, Chiapas textiles, Mayan Textile Museum, Mayan Textiles, San Cristobal de las Casas | 6 Comments »
Sergio Castro of San Cristobal, Chiapas has a world class collection of textiles (which I covered in a previous post). Many tourists and locals have experienced his lectures, learned about the different traditional Mayan groups living in the highlands of Chiapas and viewed the beautiful ‘trajes’ displayed at his museum.
An important short film El Andalon/The Healer (available free on-line for a short time) shows the life of this dedicated humanitarian and the work he does for the communities in the San Cristobal area. This is a truly inspiring story….and if you love Chiapas, one you will enjoy.
Please watch if you want to learn more about Sergio and how his Textile Collection and museum is part of his legacy and continuing humanitarian work.
Posted in Chiapas, Clothing, Exhibits, Locations | Tagged Chamula, Chamula textiles, Chiapas Mayan costumes, Chiapas textiles, El Andalon - The Healer, Sergio Castro | 4 Comments »
This is the time of year when we’re looking for that ‘special’ item for that ‘special’ person. If you’re like me, while I’m looking for gifts, I usually find a few for myself! Not necessarily a bad thing, it’s the thrill of treasure hunt, until one day you realize that your storage area is STUFFED full of treasures that need new homes.
My Etsy shop LIVING TEXTILES - (click here) – has really gotten going this last year – so many of my Mexico textile finds and parts of my personal collection has moved on (even a large group of huipiles going to Kuwait last month). Now my ethnic jewels are happily running off to new owners. Here a flashy Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, skirt to wear to a Holiday party – you’ll be noticed!
Please also check out my second Etsy shop LUCITAS BODEGA (click here) for many ethnographic items from my years collecting/buying devotional art in Ecuador and Mexico plus truly decorative collectors items from OLD Mexico. Once a collector there is no choice but to become a dealer/vendor to keep the momentum. So bear with me – my son is worried about my collection becoming HIS collection. I suggested he could open a store called ‘Dead Mom’s Stuff’ – but that’s a bit tacky. Probably better to sell it now on Etsy!
You’ll find some truly interesting things in my stores – ’tis the time of year to GO SHOPPING – as if you really needed to hear that!
Posted in Etsy Shops Offerings | Tagged devotional art, ethnic jewelry, Etsy shop, Etsy store Living Textiles, Living Textiles, Lucitas Bodega, Mexican texitles, Old Mexico antiques, Sheri Brautigam Etsy shops | 2 Comments »
An article was published this week, OCT. 10th., in Hand/Eye Magazine, an on-line e-zine – connecting cultures and inspiring action – covering ’Living Textiles of Mexico’ and my work documenting indigenous textiles in Mexico. Annie Waterman did an e-interview asking some very poignant questions. The article was woven nicely and coherently with my responses and if you are curious about ’what exactly does she do?’ – you’ll enjoy it.
Here’s the link:
Posted in Published Articles | Tagged documenting Mexican textiles, Hand/Eye Mexican Textiles, Living Textiles of Mexico, Sheri Brautigam | 7 Comments »
The International Folk Art Market will be opening in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 13th, 2012 with a previous week full of festivities, parties, concerts and related gallery openings. I’m looking forward to the arrival of Remigio Mestes, a friend from Oaxaca, who for the second year will be bringing the BEST textiles of Oaxaca to the market. Remigio works with about 250 artisans from remote Oaxacan communities, supporting their finest work, promoting the textile arts of Oaxaca and making sure the artist’s kids have the opportunity for higher education, by providing a home for them in Oaxaca City. It’s all part of his master plan for raising the level of Oaxaca’s textile artisans to the highest level of national textile ARTISTS. Remigio has been hard at work for at least 20 years making it happen and now has a store in Mexico City (see below), besides his Baules de Juana Cata store on Alcala street in Oaxaca (his flag ship) and a shop in San Miguel Allende. See my previous post Tres Colores – Indigo, Cochineal & Caracol an exhibit of Remigio’s artists’ work at the Museo Arte Popular in San Bartolo Coyotepec (near Oaxaca City) last year.
Last year two of his master weavers, Nicolasa Pascal Martinez from San Bartolo Yautepec and Luisa Jimenez, who is Trique from the Mixteca demonstrated weaving on their traditional back-strap looms. Many beautiful blouses, long huipiles, rebozos/shawls and quechquemitles (triangular caplettes) were offered of very fine weaves, ancient patterns and sumptuous colors. Included are images of garments brought last year as well as the Tres Colores exhibit. I suggest heading over to the Banamex booth, Remigio’s sponsors, EARLY for the best selection of Oaxacan textiles at the International Folk Art Market July 13 – 15th, Santa Fe, NM.
See Remigio in action in this slide show, at his store in Oaxaca and in the Mixe region with some of his weavers.
His new shop is called Los Baules at the Museo Textile de Oaxaca – near the Oaxaca Zocala and he has also opened a shop in Mexico City store at Isabella Catolica Street, 30-7 in the Centro Historico to broaden the knowledge of indigenous arts throughout Mexico.
Posted in Festivals & Events, Folk Art Market Santa Fe, Oaxaca | Tagged fine Mexican textiles, Luisa Jimenez, Mexican traditional textiles, Mixe back strap weavers, Nicolasa Pascal Martinez, Oaxacan textiles, Remigio Mestas, San Bartolo Yautepec, Santa Fe Folk Art Market, Trique weaver | 9 Comments »
Want to experience world-class fiber artist/teachers, attend stimulating workshops and exhibits, learn new technique, new materials and have access to a myriad of textile related products? Consider attending the HGA (HandWeavers Guild of America’s) biennial Convergence conference being held this year in Long Beach CA – July 15 – 21, 2012.
Living Textiles of Mexico will be there presenting two seminars and selling collectors textiles in the huge vendors event at the same time. This is what I will be offering – hope you can make it – even just for the day.
Weds: 1PM – 2:30PM- Revival of a Traditional Costume
Traditional textiles are a vital part of Mexican culture and are experiencing a revival in some indigenous communities. This seminar explores the Mazahua community of central Mexico and its efforts to rescue one of the oldest and most striking garments of this region, a beautiful traditional eight-pound wool skirt. Hand-spinning, natural dyes, back-strap weaving and fine embellishment will be discussed, along with the spectacular community fiesta where this costume is worn.
The story of their revival was featured in Artes de Mexico – Mazahua Textiles – May 2011. But during this presentation you view the original images of their elaborate process not seen this article. We will also have various sample to examine and marvel at the months it takes to complete the costume.
Read an earlier post with more background information about the Flores Silvestres revitalization project.
Thursday 9:15 M – 10:45 AM Collecting Mexican Textiles
Mexico has a vibrant textile tradition, and indigenous communities wear their costumes as a form of self-identity. Explore the diversity and spectrum of these ‘living’ textiles. Methods of production, as well as the variety and quality of these beautiful Mexican garments will be discussed. View colorful images and examples and learn where to go and what to look for when collecting Mexican textiles.
Check out the hundreds of other events as this is a REALLY BIG conference.
Posted in Conferences | Tagged collectors textiles Mexico, Convergence 2012, textile conference | 5 Comments »