Tag Archives: huipil

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

What do we call them? Huipiles. Not Caftans!

In addition to cultural appropriation, there is a debate raging about what to call the hand-woven, back-strap loomed garments from Mexico that many of us know as huipiles. This is plural. The singular is huipil. (Some huipiles for sale below!)

How do you say it?

Whee-peel.

(or What do you do with a banana? We peel. — Thank you, Mary Randall)

Whee-peel-ess.

Caftan (kaftan) or tunic is a misnomer. I am reminded of this via a text message this morning from Ana Paula Fuentes, who introduced me to Las Sanjuaneras some years ago and was the founding director of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca. I promised her that you and I would have a discussion about Mexican clothing as a way to spread the word about culture.

I just want to set the record straight that I called these garments thus because it is what the American and Canadian marketplace knows and understands as a fashion definition. We’ve been acculturated since the 60’s when these garments came to us from Europe and North Africa and Asia as casual wear, beach and pool wear, loungewear. Now, with Covid-19, the idea is being reintroduced to the world of contemporary clothing as a perfect solution to comfort while we are homebound.

Let’s have the conversation: Clothing origins from Mexico deserve to be called by their true name. Huipil. Bluson. Blusa. Rebozo. Quechquemitl. Etc. And, we can spread the word about the quality of Mexico’s indigenous weaving by using the true name of the garment. People need to know these are huipiles. Not caftans or tunics.

Bluson: A short, cropped flowing version of a huipil, usually waist-length or hip-length.

Blusa: A blouse, more fitted than free-form; a universal term.

Rebozo: A shawl whose origins are from the Philippines via Spain.

Quechquemitl: A triangular pull-over shawl, scarf, cover-up that is pre-Hispanic and the first indigenous garment.

So, help us out here. When you wear one of these garments, call it a Huipil. Together, we can be influencers and talk about Mexico as being a fashion innovator rather than a follower of Euro-centric style. You give value to the weavers this way, too. Thank you.

Still some beauties from Las Sanjuaneras For Sale

#10. Andrea. Bluson. Marigold, chocolatillo. 35-1/2×24. $295.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#2. Camerina. Huipil. Indigo, iron oxide. $285. 34-1/2×34. $285.
#18. Aurora. 19×28. Blusa. Nanche, mahogany, almond, beet. $195.
SOLD. #16. Patrocinia. Bluson. Indigo, native cotton, $195.
#24. Aurora. Bluson. Beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22. $295.
SOLD. #7. Maria Lucia. 40×40. Huipil. Indigo, iron oxide, beet, nanche. $395
#20. Andrea. Blusa. Marigold, iron oxide, native cotton. 22-3/4×30. $195.
#21. Margarita. Blusa. Marigold, iron oxide, beet, brazilwood, 22-3/4×35. $165.

Collectibles and Wearables: Artisan Made and For Sale

My tradition is to look through my collection and offer distinctive pieces for sale just before I leave Oaxaca to return for visits to the USA. Most pieces are new and never worn, collected as part of my commitment to support artisans where I travel. A few are part of my personal wardrobe, rarely used, and now too large for me. 15 PIECES TOTAL. Scroll down!

I leave for the USA on Thursday, March 12. If you want a piece, please purchase by March 10. I will mail by March 17. Each piece is numbered and priced separately. I add on $12 USD for USPS priority mailing anywhere in USA. If you live in Canada, mailing is more than double.

I will only take with me what I pre-Sell. Email your intent to purchase to: norma.schafer@icloud.com

Send me: Item # and price, your name, mailing address (city/state/ZIP). I will send you a PayPal invoice. As soon as your purchase is complete, I will mark the item SOLD. Thank you VERY much.

1A. Embroidered dress, size Petite-Small, Aguacatenango, Chiapas, $185 USD

I bought it off the hanger at Alberto Gomez Lopez’ cooperative. Oh, I thought it would fit and it doesn’t. It must be size Petite/Small.

1B. Extraordinary embroidery and smocking. New.
1C. Sleeve detail, Aguacatenango dress
#2. Indigo, purple snail dye, native Oaxaca cotton, size L-XL, $265 USD, Dreamweavers Coop
SOLD. #3 hand-loomed gauze cotton, L-XL, San Pedro Amusgos, from Remigio Mestas, $145
#4 Tenejapa, Chiapas, hand-loomed collector piece, $285 USD
#4b. Detail of bodice
SOLD. #5 San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas, collector piece, $285 USD
SOLD. #5 bodice detail
SOLD. #6 Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, collector piece, embroidered, hand-loomed, $185
#6 bodice detail
#7 San Andres Larrainzar, size M-L, back-strap loom, $95
#7 bodice detail
#8 triangle scarf, Zinacantan, Chiapas, $75 USD
#9 scarf, hand-knotted fringe with beading (chakira), Tenancingo de Degollado
#9, extra-large Ikat scarf, Tenancingo de Degollado, $250 USD
#10 Multi-stripe scarf or table runner, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, $85 USD
SOLD. #11 Cross-stitch needle work dress, Oaxaca coast, $185 USD
SOLD. #11 bodice detail
SOLD. #12 size L-XL, embroidered, Isthmus of Tehuantepec, $70 USD
SOLD. #13 size L-XL, San Juan Cotzocon, Oaxaca, backstrap loom, from Remigio, $145 USD
SOLD. #14 San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas embroidered and woven huipil, size M, $120 USD
#15 Dreamweavers Coop, Pinotepa de Don Luis, size L-XL, purple snail dye, fine huipil, $245
#15 bodice detail, silk dyed w/rare purple snail, backstrap loom finely woven

My Oaxaca Tienda: Sale

I’m leaving for the USA on July 10 and as is my custom before I go back, I loop through my collection and offer a few pieces for sale. I’m now a size small-petite and these beautiful clothes are large-extra large. They are never worn or gently worn, perhaps a couple of times.

How to Buy: I have numbered each garment with price. Please send me an email norma.schafer@icloud.com and tell me which piece you want by number. Include your mailing address. I will send you an invoice and then bring the piece with me to mail to you after July 11. Mailing cost of $8 USD per package will be added. For Canada shipments, add $30 USD.

#1. Santiago Jamiltepec blusa, backstrap loomed, cotton with embroidery, $68 USD
#2. SOLD. Las Sanjuaneras huipil, San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, hand-spun and woven cotton, natural dye with oxidized pomegranate, $285 USD
#3. SOLD. Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, from Dreamweavers cooperative, woven by Amada, with coyuchi native cotton, indigo and caracol purpura shell dye, $325 USD
#4. SOLD. From Remigo Mesta’s shop Los Baules de Juana Cata, back-strap loomed, cotton gauze, shimmering turquoise and rich brown colors, $165
#5. SOLD. Amantenango, Chiapas, cotton blouse, smocked, embroidered, $65 USD
#6. SOLD. Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, machine embroidered traditional blouse, $135 USD
#7. Puebla Mountains, embroidered and smocked blusa, fine detail, $155 USD
#8. SOLD. San Juan Colorado cooperative Jini Nuu, back-strap loomed blusa, $110 USD

Mexico Monday: Clothing and Bags for Sale

Here is a selection of hand-woven agave fiber market bags and totes, a few woven purses and shoulder bags perfect for carrying cell phones and coin purses. I’ve added tops and a poncho cover-up, too. All from Oaxaca and Chiapas. Don’t miss anything: there are 14 pieces, so scroll down to the end!

To buy, please send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com Include your name, mailing address with city, state and ZIP code, along with the ITEM NUMBER. I will send you an invoice and add on an $8 charge to mail USPS Priority Mail. As soon as I receive payment, I will ship.

NOTE: ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 9, 2019. The last day I can mail is May 10. I return to Oaxaca on May 11. Thanks very much.

#7, Extra-Large, Finest Agave Fiber Hand-woven Market Bag, $85

This is the finest quality hand-woven cactus fiber bag made in Chiapas. This is an original to the village of Magdalena Aldama where the men weave these and use them for field bags — to carry feed for the animals, food and water for themselves. They cut, soak, strip, and weave the agave leaves all by hand. The finest ones take three-months to make. They are strong, durable and functional. Comes with adjustable leather straps. They are works of artistry. The coffee color of the bags comes from the smoke over the wood cooking fires. Each one is different.

Detail, #7
#1, Chiapas densely embroidered blouse, finest cotton from Sna Jolobil, $145

#1 is from the famed Sna Jolobil cooperative. Measures 26″ wide by 28″ long. The fine cotton cloth is woven on a back-strap loom. The bodice is hand-embroidered in the tiniest stitches. Moss green against cream, light and comfy for summer. They will be at the Santa Fe Folk Art Market this summer and you can bet the prices will be double.

#2, from Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas, dazzling back-strap loomed daily blouse, $165

#2 is from the small family cooperative operated by Rosa and Cristobal in Magdalena Aldama. This is what the women wear for their daily attire. Each year that I go, the designs become even more elaborate. I hand-picked this piece based on quality of weaving and the density of the supplementary weft — the threads added during the weaving process to create the patterns. It takes hours to make a piece like this. Piece is 26″ wide by 24″ long.

#2 detail, Magdalena Aldama blouse
#3, from Oxchuc, Chiapas, great beach cover-up or use it for layering, $145

#3 From Oxchuc, Chiapas, and woven by Cristina on a back-strap loom. This is a wonderful, soft cotton poncho in a graphic black and white. It took Cristina 38 hours to weave this and it measures 32” wide x 28” long, $145

Detail, #3
#4, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, small shoulder bag, wool $25
SOLD. #5, Magdalena Aldama, large hand-woven agave fiber market bag, $65

#5 (above) and #6 (below) and #7 (third) are hand-woven market bags — best quality. They are originals to the village of Magdalena Aldama where the men weave these and use them for field bags — to carry feed for the animals, food and water for themselves. They cut, soak, strip, and weave the agave leaves all by hand. The finest ones take three-months to make. They are strong, durable and functional. Comes with adjustable leather straps. They are works of artistry. The coffee color of the bags comes from the smoke over the wood cooking fires. Each one is different.

SOLD. #6, Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas, medium size agave fiber market bag, $65
SOLD. #8, Tenejapa back-strap loomed small shoulder bag, $45

#8 comes from Tenejapa, Chiapas and is woven on a back-strap loom using the supplementary weft (added threads to the warp) technique to create the beautiful pattern. Use it for cell phone and coin purse or an evening bag,

SOLD. #9, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, woven wool shoulder bag, $25

#9 is a well-crafted wool bag, lined, from Teotitlan del Valle. It has a zipper. Priced at less than what I paid for it.

#10, handbag, Teotitlan del Valle, cochineal natural dyes, $50

#10 is wool dyed with cochineal red from the Bii Dauu cooperative in Teotitlan del Valle who does some of the finest work in the village. It is lined and has a zipper. Priced at less than what I paid for it.

SOLD. #11, Tenejapa, Chiapas, small shoulder bag, hand-woven, $45

#11 is a unique bag with a lively color combination. I bought it in the weekly market directly from the maker. The village is an hour and a world away from San Cristobal de las Casas.

SOLD. #12, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, PomPom Chal (shawl) or Throw, $125

#12 is a soft, soft, grey and cream stripe wool woven on a back-strap loom in the village of San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, where women raise their own sheep, then card, spin and weave. Use this for a winter wrap or drape it over a chair, sofa, ottoman or bed for Bo-Ho style.

#13, hand-woven 100% cotton bag from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Chiapas, $45
SOLD. #14, shoulder bag from Oxchuc, Chiapas, braided strap and fringes, $45

#14 is woven on a back-strap loom in a small Chiapas village. I love the color combo. It comes from Jolom Mayatik Cooperative. The braided strap is a work of art in itself and is of highest quality. Use for evening, cell phone, coin purse and cosmetics.