Monthly Archives: June 2018

Seriously, On The Mexico-US Border

Seeing Rachel Maddow in tears compelled me to action yesterday. I called and emailed both my Senators Burr and Tillis (R). I made donations to legal defense funds.

I live in North Carolina where gerrymandering has determined national elections. I want to think of these representatives as people of good will with an ethical, compassionate center. I want to be hopeful, still.

Living in a Red state means my voice and my vote matters even more.

  • If you live in a Red state, it’s even more important to call and email.
  • If you are a compassionate Republican, your voice is essential.
  • For all of us, taking action and speaking up matters.

Last night 45 (aka Agent Orange) rescinded his executive order to separate families at the border — an immigration deterrent policy gone mad. The executive order is vague and confusing.


There is no resolution for the already 2,300 infants and children who have already been pulled apart and held in separate facilities. News reports this morning tell that ICE border policy is in confusion and agents don’t know what to do anything differently.

We must not let up.

What to do:

  1. Call both your Senators at their local field offices in the state where you live.
  2. Call your U.S. Congressional Representative at their field office, too.
  3. Send a TEXT to 50409 and write in the Message Box RESIST. This is Resistbot which will ID your Senators and Congressional Representatives. It will walk you through the steps, then email your message to them at the end. Simply, write your message in the message box, enter DONE and it will prompt you for next steps.
  4. Make a Gift to support the legal defense funds at the border, such as RAICES,  https://www.raicestexas.org/  or

    Texas Civil Rights Project (the “Charity”). MoveOn.org Civic Action has acted as the Charity’s agent for the purpose of accepting donations on behalf of the Charity. The funds go direct to the project.

Suggestion About What to Say: Be calm, thoughtful and polite. An aide or a machine will answer. Speak slowly and clearly.

Please tell Senator XXX that the President’s Executive Order is not enough. There must be an immediate plan to reunite the 2,300 infants and children with their parents who have already been separated. This behavior by our government reminds me of Nazi Germany and dictatorships around the world. It is inhumane and unconscionable. Please tell Senator XXX to take a stand to reunite these children with their parents now. I’m from (name your state).

***

These are painful and perilous times. I begin my journey back to Oaxaca tomorrow. I wonder how immigration will go for me in Mexico City as I transit through. Shame is what I feel. I ask myself, does despair and hope go hand-in-hand as Paul Schrader questions in his important, just released film, First Reformed. I like to think we can choose to be hopeful and push despair down. Despair is numbing, depressive, serves to subdue us. We cannot be subdued.

 

 

 

A Word About Chiapas From Trish Tieger

I want to share this with you. It came to me this week unsolicited from Trish Tieger who lives along the Hudson River Valley in New York State. She traveled with us to Chiapas in 2018 and wanted me to know about her experience.

Dear Norma,

So much time has passed since we returned from our (or at least it was for me) fabulous time in Chiapas. Life got away from me and I never did write to say “thank you.”  The people and places we got to see, by way of your thoughtful scheduling and excellent contacts, were amazing. There is no way that if I arrived solo in San Cris, that I could have found my way so well into the countryside.

Your trip provided everything that I was hoping for—I was seeking a speck of adventure—and a great desire to be in contact with indigenous people—either in Mexico or the Andes. As I was working on this half-baked plan, I was excited when a friend came up with your name and itinerary. It never had occurred to me that one could find tours that went out with very small groups. (The large ones, with people packed onto tour buses and going to “tourist sites” had never held interest for me and yet I was hesitant about going where I wanted all by myself.)

What you offered was the perfect match for my needs of the moment. It is very cool that you have made a life of taking like-minded travelers to locations that are lesser known and not so available. Anyway, thank you so much for the terrific ride. It was wonderful.

Best wishes,

Trish Tieger

There are five openings for our February 27-March 8, 2019, Chiapas Textile Study Tour Deep Into the Maya World. Step into the adventure with us!

Here are some links to posts I wrote about the last trip:

Women make, sell, suckle babes in Magdalenas Aldama, Chiapas

Andrea Diaz Hernandez weaves for eight months, San Andres Larrainzar

Mexico Bejeweled Mostly Silver Jewelry Sale

SOLD. #1 Oaxaca Gold Filigree vintage, Teotitlan del Valle

This will be my last “for sale” post of the season! I’m on my way back to Oaxaca on June 22 via Chicago for a stopover to visit friends. From there, it will be Aeromexico connecting through Mexico City to Oaxaca on June 28. It will be good to get back to my other home and those three campo dogs! Let’s see if they missed me.

It’s time to part with some treasures that have been in my collection for a while. Yes, I did wear them, so they aren’t brand new. A few pieces are vintage. A few pieces are not being made anymore. They all reflect the best quality silversmithing that Mexico has to offer.

To make a purchase please send an email to norma.schafer@icloud.com

  1. Indicate what you want to buy by NUMBER.
  2. Tell me your mailing address.
  3. Prices do not include mailing. I will add $8 per package for mailing within the US. For Canada or international, I’ll send you mailing cost before I invoice you.
  4. Order and pay by Wednesday, June 20, 2018
  5. Note: The last day I will accept an order is June 20. That will give me time to invoice you, for you to pay with PayPal and for me to package and mail to you.
  6. Thank you very much for your consideration.

#1 detail, Oaxaca vintage 12 Kt. Gold Filigree

SOLD. #1 was bought to support my neighbor who needed to build a kitchen. She begged me to buy this pair of earrings so of course, I did, though I already had a similar pair! What’s to do? Sometimes, we call it the Gringa Tax. The price to live in an indigenous village. Okay, so I’m finally getting around to selling these. You put the hook in through the back of your lobe and connect it to the gold disk. Measures: 1-1/2″ in diameter. Very fine filigree work. $285 USD.

#2 Sterling Silver Filigree earrings

SOLD. #2 sterling silver filigree earrings are made by Oaxaca silversmith Mario Perez. He used to share a shop on the Alacala with Jacobo and Maria Angeles Ojeda. His studio is near Atzompa. Exceptional quality silver filigree.  These earrings hook from the front to the back and have a French closure. Measures 1-1/4″ diameter. $195 USD.

#3 Sterling Silver Filigree Baskets

SOLD. #3. I bought these some years ago from Teotitlan del Valle painter, designer and weaver Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez. He was working with a Oaxaca master to create one-of-a-kind filigree earrings. I admired them for their beauty and delicate workmanship. Since then, I’ve migrated to bolder, so these can be yours. Perfect condition, only worn a few times. French closure. Measures 1-3/4″ long. $145 USD.

#4 famous designer earrings

SOLD. #4 was handcrafted by Brigitte and Ivan, the French silversmiths who worked in Oaxaca for over 20 years. Their legacy is renown. These are made using the lost wax casting technique developed in pre-Hispanic Mexico. Measures 2″ long from were the hook hangs from the earlobe hole. $135 USD.

#5 sterling silver bracelet–a statement piece

SOLD. #5 is also designed and made by Brigitte Huet and her husband Ivan under their mark Kandart. It is a weighty sterling silver with a slide closure in the style of the grand masters of Taxco. I have priced this at $400 USD, less than its original cost. It is a work of art. Rarely worn. 7″ long.

#6 William Spratling earrings

SOLD. #6  — sterling silver cast earrings from the William Spratling workshop in Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico from the original molds that Spratling used in Taxco’s silver heyday in the 40’s and 50’s.  They are on posts. Lightweight because the triangle shape is hollow. Patina. $125 USD.

#6 back detail

#7 Sterling and Alpaca Bangle Mix

#7 is a group of 11 bangle bracelets for a smaller wrist. The diameter opening is 2-1/2 inches. The alpaca is a metal that looks like silver, popular in the 50’s and 60’s and there are four of these with enamel work in white, black and turquoise. The remaining seven are sterling silver. $95 USD for the set.

#8 Cowgirl Beans Necklace

SOLD. #8 is from Cuetzalan Puebla where beans rule! They are strung on a sturdy woven twine and knotted. Pair with other necklace strands to add a fun look. Measures about 24 inches long. $27 USD.

#9 Chiapas Coin Necklace

SOLD. #9 is from Magdalenas Aldama where the ladies string glittery glass beads, use colorful braided ties, and sell them. A penny for your thoughts. These are embellished with five Mexican 50 centavo pieces to add interest to what is an already attention-getting neck adornment. Measures 36″ end-to-end. Tie it however long or short you want. $65 USD.

#10 Quetzalcoatl ring — Serpent God

SOLD. #10 is another fine piece by Brigitte Huet. Its Mayan symbol is Quetzalcoatl the serpent-god who could transform himself. Sterling silver made using the lost wax casting technique. I’m not sure of the ring size. I think it may be a 7.  $115 USD.

Inside #10 quetzalcoatl ring

#11 Silver and Coral Earrings from Patzcuaro, Michoacan

SOLD. #11 are made by Kutzi jewelers, one of the few jewelry studios still in existence in Patzcuaro, Michoacan. All hand-wrought. Measures 2-1/2″ long from where the hook hangs in your earlobe. $110 USD.

#12 Love Bird sterling silver, onyx and coral earrings, Estado de Mexico

#12 are made by the talented Mazahua people from the State of Mexico. I bought them in Mexico City from Victor Arte Popular. Pilar Fosado’s father worked with the artisans and collaborated on the designs. Not easy to find these any more. Put into your ear from the back to the front. $135 USD.

#13 Love Birds #2 w/ Garnets and Coral, hooks

#13 are another version of the Love Birds with garnets and coral drops. This version has a hook that you put through your ear from front to back. Measures 3″ long. $135 USD.

#14 Lady Bracelet, sterling silver

#14, Brigitte Huet called this bracelet Lady. The workmanship is spectacular with lots of intricate and detailed carving in the wax which was picked up in the silver during the casting technique that uses the sling. Easy to use toggle closure. Measures 7-1/2″ long. $350 USD.

#14 detail of Lady Bracelet

#15 Münecas (Dolls) Necklace

SOLD. #15 is a fun, hand-painted Folk Art doll necklace from the 70’s strung with glass beads. Measures 20″ long. $45 USD.

#16 Navajo Pearls, New Mexico

SOLD. #16. Since New Mexico was part of New Spain and then Mexico before it was appropriated by the USA, I don’t feel at all bad about including this pretty strand of Navajo sterling silver beads in this grouping. Adjustable length for longer or shorter look. Measures 18″ end-to-end. Bead diameter is about 4 mm. Good for hanging a pendant. $65 USD.

#18 Spratling Jaguar pendant, copper with lapis lazuli inlay

#18 is a contemporary Spratling piece made with the traditional Spratling mold in the Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico studio where he lived and worked. It is stamped Taller Spratling. Pendant measures 3-3/4″ wide x 3″ high and the necklace is 19″ long with copper findings. $85 USD.

#19 Spratling Pre-Hispanic Monkey Pendant

#19 is marked Taller Spratling and is a contemporary studio piece from the Spratling workshop in Taxco, but made from one of the original Spratling molds. I saw the original clay figure at the museum in Tututepec, Oaxaca. This piece  copper inlaid with green turquoise. Measures 1-3/4″ x 2-1/4″ long. Put it on a chain at whatever length you prefer! $95 USD.

#20 designer sterling silver bracelet

#20 is another beauty from designer Brigitte Huet using the lost wax cast technique for sterling silver. Measures 7-1/2″ long and 1-1/4″ wide, with cut-out and feather carved motifs. $395 USD.

#21, #22, #23 Earrings

Top #21: Vintage sterling silver and pearls from Puebla, Mexico. 2″ long. $125 USD.

Middle #22: Artemio Rodriguez Taxco designer, 1-1/2″ long. $125 USD.

Bottom #23: Artemio Rodriguez Taxco designer, 1-1/2″ long. $125 USD.

#24 filigree silver and pearl necklace

SOLD. #24 is a Mazahua piece I bought at Victor Arte Popular. Delicate and beautifully made. $85 USD.

#25 Fish from Lake Patzcuaro

#25 is a collector’s piece with handmade silver beads and hand carved and stamped fishes suspended from dried red beans — all perfect. Piece is from the 70’s or 80’s. Hand-made chain and clasp. 17″ long. $395 USD.

#26 Eagle Pendant

#26 Eagle Pendant back

SOLD. #26 is sterling silver made in the lost wax cast technique by Brigitte Huet. Measures 4″ long x 1-1/2″ wide. $195.

This is probably enough to keep you interested for a while!

Remember, please make your orders as soon as possible. I will need to send invoices and receive funds by Wednesday, June 20, 2018, to complete our transaction and get your pieces in the mail to you before I leave North Carolina.

Thank you very much for your support.

Norma

Mexico Summer Mixed Clothing–Last Sale of the Season

Thanks to alle who picked a Mexico textile treasure this week! My storage containers are lighter now! Still more to go. I missed a few dresses, wraps and blouses on the first pass — oops, another box found. So, I’m going to squeeze in one more textile sale. Then, perhaps, I’ll have time to post a few pieces of jewelry before I leave for Oaxaca.

My departure date is June 22, so please, if you want to make a purchase, let me know immediately, and I’ll mail to you as soon as I receive payment. Mail deadline is Wednesday, June 20. Eleven pieces offered below.

How to order:

  1. Send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com
  2. Tell me which piece(s) you want by Number.
  3. Send me your mailing address.
  4. I will send you a PayPal invoice that includes $8 USD postage (unless you are international and I’ll calculate cost and let you know).
  5. I’ll mail to you within 24 hours.

#1. San Miguel Soyaltepec, Oaxaca, hand-embroidered huipil/dress

#1 is SOLD an embroidered dress from the island of San Miguel Soyaltepec that sits in the middle of Miguel Aleman Dam in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca between the valley and the Caribbean. I visited there some years back. There was a small group of us, only eight travelers, and 40 women selling at least four huipiles each. Do the math! On top of that, only three of us were buyers. In my desire to support a very disappointed group, I bought several. I guess it’s what I do! This one and #2 were stand-outs. Never worn. Cotton embroidery floss on 100% natural manta cotton. Hand-wash. Hang to dry or dry clean. Measures 29″ wide x 49″ long. Size L-XL.  A steal at $195 USD.

#1 detail of Soyaltepec huipil, teeny, tiny stitches

SOLD. #2 is this Olive Green Huipil also from San Miguel Soyaltepec. This village is not easy to get to. First, it’s 12 hours from Oaxaca city. Then, one needs to take a boat launch to the island! Same story as above! Measures 27″ wide x 45″ long. Another steal at $195 USD.

#2 San Miguel Soyaltepec huipil

#2 detail, huipil from San Miguel Soyaltepec

#3 is a San Antonino blouse, embroidered with deshillado

#3. The Oaxaca village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco is known for its fine embroidery and pulled thread deshillado designs that show a little skin on the bodice!  This blouse is finely done, measures 24″ wide and 25″ long. I’m selling it for $65 USD.

#3 San Antonino bodice detail

#4 cotton embroidered blouse from Yalalag, Oaxaca

#4 is excellent embroidered doll figures on natural manta cotton made in the village of Yalalag, Oaxaca, about two hours from the city. Note the hand-tucking detail. Measures 22″wide x 27″ long. Priced to sell at $45 USD.

#4 bodice detail

#5 intricate embroidered blouse, San Bartolome Ayautla

#5 is a knock-out, densely embroidered with the finest stitches I’ve ever seen. Pale yellow birds and flowers are framed in black thread on excellent quality 100% cotton manta cloth. San Bartolome Ayautla is also in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca. Some say they started this embroidery tradition that has been copied by other villages. It can take 3-4 months to make this. Measures 23-1/4″ wide x 27″ long. $250 USD.

#5. See all those little invisible puckers on the inside? Those are stitches!

#6 Zinacantan machine-embroidered blouse

#6 is SOLD a contemporary blouse from the Chiapas village of Zinacantan. It is machine-stitched floral pattern on easy-to-care-for polyester. Full disclosure! Now, it’s what all the ladies wear. Measures 28″ wide x 29″ long. $65 USD.

#7 SOLD is from Amantenango, Chiapas, the ceramics village

SOLD #7 is a traditional blouse embroidered in Amantenango, Chiapas. This is the village “uniform.” When you see someone wearing this blouse you immediately know where they are from. I was mesmerized by the very graphic, contemporary pattern and thought it might make a great pillow cover. But, I never got around to it. Definitely wearable, too. Or, hang it on the wall like a painting. Poly thread on poly cloth. Measures 28″ wide x 28″ long. $65 USD.

#8 is an indigo and coyuchi blouse from San Pedro Amusgos

Come with us to San Pedro Amusgos in January 2019.

# 8 is all natural dyes, native, hand-spun organic cotton dyed with indigo and woven with coyuchi native cotton to offer the contrasting caramel color design. From the cooperative studio of Arte Amusgos and Odilon Morales who represents his cooperative at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Threads are spun with the malacate drop spindle and woven on a back-strap loom. New. Measures 25″ wide x 30″ long. $250 USD.

#9 Cuetzalan, Puebla, blouse with embroidered bodice

SOLD. #9 is from the Puebla state mountains near the village of Cuetzalan. I was there for the fair a couple of years ago and bought directly from the maker. Bodice is embroidered with sheep, birds, ducks, swans, pigs and flowers, trimmed with embroidered edging. Sexy, off the shoulder look. This is traditional for the region. Note the hand-smocking. Measures 24″ wide x 26-1/2″ long. $85 USD.

#9 bodice detail

#10, Shiny Quechquemitl from Chiapas

#10 is the traditional pre-Hispanic women’s cover-up called a quechquemitl. You pull it on over your head as a should and bodice covering. Adapt as a shawl or scarf. Very comfy to wear. This one is all synthetic fibers woven on a back strap loom with shiny, glitzy gold threads. A night out on the town, perhaps! Measures 28″ long from the neckline V to the front point, and 35″ wide across the triangle. $65 USD.

#10 detail

A few spaces open for the Chiapas Textile Study Tour 2019

#11 is a cotton blouse from San Andres Larrainzer, Chiapas

#11 a very warm caramel brown with hot pink accent design that is an integral part of the weaving on the back-strap loom.  This weaving technique is called supplementary weft and the women of San Andres are masters. The seam joinery is all done by hand. I love the color contrast and the ample amount of bodice design. Measures 26″ wide x 30″ long. $65 USD.

Thank you for looking and shopping. Buy today and I’ll mail tomorrow.

 

Summer Wraps from Mexico for Sale

In my getting ready to go back to Oaxaca from Durham, NC, I’m going through the boxes of my collection to decide what I’m ready to send off from my house to yours! My departure date is June 22, so please, if you are interested in making a purchase, let me know immediately, and I’ll mail to you as soon as I receive payment. Mail deadline is Wednesday, June 20. Eight pieces offered.

How to order:

  1. Send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com
  2. Tell me which piece(s) you want by Number.
  3. Send me your mailing address.
  4. I will send you a PayPal invoice that includes $8 USD postage.
  5. I’ll mail to you within 24 hours.

Also see my last post for Summer Frocks — big price reductions!

1. From Pinotepa de Don Luis on Oaxaca’s Costa Chica

#1. SOLD. This is a hand-spun native Oaxaca cotton gauze shawl embellished with local coastal figures like crabs and seahorses along with traditional symbols of fertility and wildlife. The brown is rare, native coyuchi cotton and is part of the woven cloth, called supplemental weft. Measure’s 22-1/2″ wide x 86″ long — long enough to serve as  shawl, rebozo or stole or a throw over a favorite chair or bed. $125 USD.

#1. Coyuchi and white cotton rebozo detail.

Is there a summer wedding or garden party in your future?

#2. Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca shawl woven on a fly-shuttle loom, indigo + cochineal

#2 SOLD is a fine quality jacquard rebozo, hand-woven on a fly-shuttle loom with the finest cotton hand-dyed with indigo and cochineal and banana bark. It comes from the Oaxaca village of Tlahuitoltepec where one weaving family creates all natural dye cotton textiles. Measures 25″ wide x 88″ long (including the macrame hand-knotted fringe called the punta). $145 USD.

#2, detail of Tlahuitoltepec rebozo

Will you be dining al fresco and want the perfect wrap?

#3 Chiapas shawl of many colors, from the Oxchuc people

#3 SOLD is a multi-colored shawl/rebozo that includes hand-twisted fringes. It will go with anything! The textile was hand-woven on the back-strap loom in a remote Oxchuc village by Catalina, a young mother who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother! To keep the tradition going it’s important to have buyers, so I chose to support them and bring their work to you. The village, where I visited, is about an hour and a half up the mountain from San Cristobal de Las Casas. Measures 23″ wide x 78″ long. $145 USD.

#3. Detail, Oxchuc rebozo, called a Chal in Chiapas.

What about that summer concert under the stars?

#4 is a lightweight gauze shawl from Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas

#4 is a beautiful white shawl hand-woven on the back-strap loom and embellished with red, rust, yellow and purple accents in designs unique to the village of Venustiano Carranza. The region is closer to the Pacific coast and gets pretty hot and steamy, so the fabrics woven there are lightweight cotton and comfortable. Drapes beautifully. Measures 26″ wide x 76″ long. $135 USD.

#4, full view of soft, white shawl from Venustiano Carranza

#5 is a Venustiano Carranza wrap in luscious pale peach

#5 shawl from Venustiano Carranza is a beautiful, subtle luscious peach color cotton woven on the back-strap loom. Imagine this draped over your shoulders. The design that is woven into the textile is also a contrasting peach color using thread that has a sheen. This gives a lovely matte-shiny finish to this piece. Measures 26-1/2″ wide x 80″ long. $135 USD.

#5 Peach rebozo detail

#6 is an ikat scarf hand-woven by Luis Rodriguez from Tenancingo de Degollado

SOLD. This #6 ikat scarf features warp threads dyed with indigo and wild marigold. The pattern created on the loom looks like a Matisse painting. The blue and yellow together offer a range of shades from yellow to chartreuse, a great compliment to the indigo blue. The punta, or fringes, are hand-knotted. Measures 16-1/2″ wide x 72″ long. $75 USD.

#6 ikat scarf detail

#7 Coyuchi cotton quechquemitl from Khadi Oaxaca

#7 is a luxuriously soft native brown coyuchi cotton hand-spun on the charkha — Ghandi spinning wheel — in the Oaxaca mountain village of San Sebastian Rio Hondo. The intricate needlework trim and joinery is forest green. The quechquemitl is a pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican garment favored by women as an over-the-head short poncho. I call it a pull-over scarf. It is perfect to wear of an evening or to cover the bodice or shoulders of a sun dress. Measures 21″ long from the V-neck to the point and 31″ wide across the front. Rotate it to get a different look. Wear it like a scarf, too. $95 USD.

#7 detail of coyuchi cotton quechquemitl

#8 Indigo and Wild Marigold Quechquemitl from Khadi Oaxaca

#8 SOLD Quechquemitl combines cotton dyed with Oaxaca-grown indigo and native wild marigold flowers. The iridescent color combination sometimes tricks you into thinking there might be some green in there. Because the cotton is hand-spun, it offers beautiful texture and slubs. Similar measurements as #7. $85 USD.

#8 Detail of indigo blue and wild marigold quechquemitl