You have been asking for a self-guided tour map that highlights my favorite artists and artisans in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. I have been promising to create and publish this map for some time! It’s now completed and I am offering it for sale at $10 USD for one copy.
How to order? Click on the PayPal “Buy Now” link below. As soon as the transaction is complete, I send you an email PDF file of the map that you can print out at home. The map is copyrighted and may not be duplicated or reproduced in any way without my permission. You are entitled to print out one copy for your personal use! (Honor Code) Thank you.
The map highlights 12 favorite stops in the village. Here’s what’s included:
- The weaving studio of the Chavez Santiago Family — Federico Chavez Santiago and his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas. They only work in natural dyes and 100% wool.
- Bii Dauu Weaving Cooperative, a great source for naturally dyed wool shawls, scarves and handbags.
- Arte y Seda, the family that cultivates silk worms, spins the silk, dyes it with natural materials, and makes glorious clothing.
- The studio of Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez, painter, weaver, and jewelry designer.
- La Vida Nueva women’s cooperative, a social justice and support organization for single women.
- Casa Santiago for lovely handmade handbags with leather handles.
- Restaurante Terra Antigua owned and operated by Carina Santiago.
- Restaurante El Descanso.
- Las Granadas Bed and Breakfast.
- Annie Burns, shiatsu massage therapist.
- The Sacred Bean Coffee House
- Hiking trails to the dam
- Beeswax candle maker
- The church, the market, the archeological ruins, the community museum, and the cemetery.
Five Meaningful Books About Mexico to Recommend and Why
I travel to Oaxaca, Mexico, regularly and someday, hopefully soon, I will be there more frequently for longer periods of time. I am fascinated by the richness and vibrancy of the culture, archeology, history and art. Art is everywhere. From the food in the markets to the textiles and crafts to fine art expressed through painting and sculpture and the ballads vocalized by Lila Downs and Susana Harp. There is tradition in Mexico that is manifested through form, color and texture.
As a consequence, I am most apt to select my reading material based on its relevancy to Mexico, Oaxaca, political and historical developments, and artistic expression. I recently completed reading (1) “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver. It is an extraordinary novel about a writer raised in Mexico and influenced by the icons of the thirties, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Leon Trotsky The book explores the dichotomy of identity that is so prevalent among Mexican social and cultural position — the duality of indigenous and Spanish heritage, asking the question: Where do I belong?
(2) I just ordered and received “Oaxacan Ceramics: Traditional Folk Art by Oaxacan Women” by Wellesley College professor Lois Wasserspring. I recently met Lois and we talked about the extraordinary pottery created by Dolores Porras who recently died and is featured in her book. I am fortunate to have a few of Dolores’ pieces.
(3) Another favorite is “Zapotec Women, Gender, Class and Ethnicity in Globalized Oaxaca” by cultural anthropologist and professor Lynn Stephen who teaches at the University of Oregon. The title says it all. While it is a college text, it is a great read and if you are interested in women’s issues, roles and rights in Mexico, you’ll find this informative and not dense.
(4) Right next to that is “Made in Mexico: Zapotec Weavers and the Global Ethnic Art Market” by W. Warner Wood, assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies at Central Washington University. He describes the economic forces that drive prices and production of handwoven textiles in Teotitlan del Valle.
(5) Finally, “Zapotec Weavers of Teotitlan” by Andra Fischgrund Stanton features fabulous photographs of handwoven tapestry rugs and other textiles made by master weavers in the village, including my friend Federico Chavez Sosa. It includes personal stories and family histories, along with weaving techniques and materials used for dyeing wool.
I never cease to be amazed by the talent in Oaxaca. These books are treasures to enrich my understanding and appreciation of this incredible region.
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Posted in Books & Resources, Cultural Commentary, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged Barbara Kingsolver, books about Mexico, folk art books, Mexico, Oaxaca, Oaxaca ceramics, women in Mexico