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 | 1 Comment »
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, Uncategorized | Tagged devotional art, ethnic jewelry, Etsy shop, Etsy store Living Textiles, Living Textiles, Lucitas Bodega, Mexican texitles, Old Mexico antiques | 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 Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
After my last agitated post commenting on Mexican designers who don’t acknowledge their sources of ‘indigenous inspiration’ or give them any credit, I thought thought I might post Adele, of Latin Threads Trading, comments. She comes from a design company which has been working in Mexico for awhile – making high quality products for the mid range-market. (see link bottom of page).
“I agree with arguments on both sides of this discussion…it is a complex issue with no easy answer re. wages and respect of native traditions.
As for culture degradation, a friend who has worked many years in Chiapas with indigenous people once said to me, “The indigenous people see the commercial work they do for us as work, like going to a job every day. What we do with their product doesn’t matter to them as they have their own vibrant work that they do for themselves.” In my experience working with indigenous artisans, I would tend to agree. As for cutting up tired traditional garments and repurposing them, when I ask the indigenous women we work with what they do with their old and spoiled clothing, they tell me they throw them away. Why not preserve these remnants and enlighten the consumer with something that is both beautiful, cultural, AND functional?
It is our mission (Latin Threads Trading) to create sustainable employment at fair wages for indigenous artisans doing what they do best, the traditional crafts of their respective villages. It is a long road, fraught with problems on both sides of the equation, one that requires time, patience, and cultural sensitivity. There is no excuse for not acknowledging the contributions made by these people within the fashion industry, but that is another discussion.
But there’s good news! Designer Carmen Rion of Mexico City has worked with indigenous artisans in a number of her collections and happily acknowledges them. This seasons designs are inspired by the chales or mocheval/ capes of Zinacatan in the highlands of Chiapas. I’m including a video of the Pasisaje Mocheval Exhibit of some of Carmen’s most elegant and inspired mochevales at the Franz Meyer Museum in D.F. You’ll notice Zinacatan embroiderers in their full traje/costume enjoying the fruits of their labor. They were also included in the fashion show (See the second YouTube video). And although they might be too humble to say so, I’m sure they feel pride in being included.
Posted in Clothing, Mexican Fashion, Uncategorized | Tagged Carmen Rion, indiengous textiles in fashion, Mexican Fashion, textile fair trade Mexico, traditional textiles in fashion, Zinacatan, Zinacatan textiles | 4 Comments »
This past Fall there was a bit of NEWs buzz about Mexican fashion designers during Fashion Week in Mexico. After viewing the slide show and reading the following article I have to make a statement about what I feel about the exploitation of traditional costumes and the artisans who have created them. The women weavers and embroiderers, whose work has been cut up up and pieced into some other garment in the name of fashion – are the real artists, whether they call themselves that or not, and whether they are credited by so-called designers.
In the article called “Indigenous Fashion hits the Runway” you will see pictures about what’s new and cool in Mexican fashion, and you might possibly identify Tehuantepec embroidery embellishing many clothes while older Isthmus huipil pieces have been patch-worked to create rather ‘minimal’ pieces of clothing. Far from the original ‘covered up’ and modest, but elegant, look of traditional traje these fashion statements are more than a bit vulgar to my textile researchers eye.
What is somewhat disturbing is the rather cavalier and self-absorbed attitude of the designers featured. In the designer statements there is no mention or acknowledgement about where these textiles originated or who the women are who made them. Whoa and how disrespectful is that? Not everyone mentioned in the article was as callous as the designers and there was even a comment toward the end, by one of the artisans,, who said that, ‘they are hardly paid anything for their work anyway’.
So what do you think? – Fashion or more insult to artists/artisans? You decide……. but I have to include the YouTube video by Lila Downs whose mother is from the Mixteca/Oaxaca and who wears traditional textiles when she performs. Some of these have been cut skin-tight to show her voluptuous figure but in no-way degraded to little patches of antique cloth to cover up breasts. In this video the Zapotec women of the Valle Central of Oaxaca, are also featured with their feminine dresses. rebozo head-wraps and aprons. Hooray! Somehow this shows much more respect for Mexican indigenous culture, traditional textiles, and the artisans who spend many hours/days creating them. Thanks Lila!
Posted in Clothing, Mexican Fashion | Tagged indigenous exploitation, Lila Downs, Mexican Fashion, Mexican textiles in Fashion, Mexico Fashion Week, Tehuantepec costumes | 10 Comments »