Coming September 8: Textiles from San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca

Ikoots peoples have been living along the southern coast of Oaxaca for 3,000 years. Their name means Us in their native language. Here along the rocky coast, villagers make their living as fishermen and weavers. In the old days, they hunted sea turtles, now endangered. Some still do, which is legal for native people. The women participated in the livelihood of the fishing village by weaving nets and traps from sturdy plant fiber. They also create finely woven huipiles on the back-strap loom.

I am proud to announce that I have just brought 15 beautiful textiles from this village, made by the most famous weaver — Francisca Palafox — and her family. Some of you may recognize Francisca’s name if you have been to Oaxaca. Collector and textile purveyor Remigio Mestas offers her pieces for sale in his gallery on the Alcala. The silk and Egyptian cotton huipiles with natural dyes are sought by collectors and fetch prices equal to their beauty.

Some of the pieces are woven with silk, are dyed with indigo or cochineal or mahogany. They depict the flora and fauna of the region: birds, animals, sea life. There are various sizes, and the box included three fall-winter weight cotton ponchos that can also be used as throws.

A Day in San Mateo del Mar with Francisca Palafox

We have several pieces made by Francisca and her daughter Jazmin. I am beginning to prepare all for posting tomorrow.

The shop (ie. the BLOG POST) will open at 12 pm. Noon, Eastern Daylight Time. Please set your timer or alarm clock!

No early sales. First come, first served.

I visit this village in 2009 with the Museo Textil de Oaxaca director, curator and education director where I met Francisca and her family. It is far off the beaten path and few ever get there. It was amazing and memorable, and a long time ago.

Francisca Palafox, 2009

Now, there are no tourists in Oaxaca to buy, and few willing to travel the eight hours from the city to get to this little village. Let’s help them by supporting their work.

On September 7, 2017, a devastating 8.2 earthquake hit San Mateo del Mar with ferocity, destroying homes and infrastructure. This was the strongest earthquake in a century. Many villagers still have not recovered. The village was very close to the epicenter, off the coast just a few miles from Salina Cruz and Juchitan.

Antonina Herran Roldan, Francisca’s mother, age 73 in 2009

While we are unable to travel freely and return to Oaxaca because of covid-19, this is one very important and direct way to support her artisans.

Thank you for what you can do!

Double-sized figures — a very difficult weaving technique

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