Back to Textiles: Amusgo Weaving, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero

So-Chees-Lah-Hwa-Kah. I spell it out in transliteration so you can say it more easily. Short hand is So-Chee!

I took the last two weeks off from writing and blogging to take a road trip to the Midwest where I visited friends in South Bend, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. It was a welcome diversion from routine. While on the road, I was in touch with Yecenia (Yesi) Lopez after contacting her earlier about selecting some of her Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores Cooperative’s beautiful textiles for us to see and purchase. I made the order from South Bend and when I returned to Durham yesterday, the box was there waiting for me at the front door.

Sale Starts: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Preview of Xochistlahuaca textiles

About Amusgos Textiles

There are 17 garments total. Some are natural dyes. Some are native green, white and coyuchi (honey colored) cotton grown in the village on small farm plots. There is one scarf. Most are blusas and there are a few long huipiles. Even as we are approaching winter, these make beautiful, colorful tops to layer over a long-sleeve silk T-shirt to wear with leggings, pants, jeans or a skirt.

The Amusgo people are an indigenous group with their own distinct language who live north and south along the Oaxaca-Guerrero border. The closest town to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero is Ometepec. It is more than five hours north of Puerto Escondido and is considered part of the Costa Chica region that extends to just south of Acapulco.

This is a traditional gala Xochistlahuaca huipil
Maximina picks native green cotton from her fields

About Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores, from Yesi Lopez de Jesus

“We are a group of women from the municipality of Xochistlahuaca, the original community where the Amusgos people live. We decided to work in a group that we named the Cooperativa Llanura de las Flores — Plain of Flowers — which is the meaning of the name of our Suljaa people in our indigenous language. This is what Xochistlahuaca means in Amusgo: Plain of Flowers.

“We learned to weave and spin thread from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters. Weaving is learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Now, we understand that with threads we create art. In each textile that we make, there is a piece of us, our time, our knowledge, patience, love and part of our life.

“It is necessary to work in a cooperative to help each other out as women, to contribute to the economic well-being of our household, to feed, educate and provide healthcare for our children and our families.

“The textile, the huipil, everything we create with the threads and our imagination, is not only a piece for sale or simple merchandise. Our creations are living pieces in which we capture part of our daily life. We weave the iconography of our Plain of Flowers.

“This is why we think that as a cooperative we can continue working and sharing with the younger generations so that this ancient knowledge is never lost.

“We are 25 women who continue to weave, fighting for life, defending the loom and native cotton.”

When you purchase one (or more) of these beautiful textiles, you are bringing the heart and soul of the weaver and her family into your home and heart. Not only do you add beauty to your own life, you are supporting the history of back-strap loom weaving in Mexico and giving women an opportunity to earn a fair wage from their work. You provide sustenance and continuity. You provide hope and courage. You provide value and meaning.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time for our shop to open here at http://oaxacaculture.com

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