On Monday around noon, I pick up Ester at her brick bungalow nestled under the shadow of Picacho, Teotitlan’s holy mountain. We drive down the cobbled hill, across the small bridge over the Rio Grande, now a trickle in the dry season, to get Janet, an expat friend who lives here during the winter months.
We are on our way to visit Secundino, Ester’s eighty-seven year old father who still weaves cloth in the old serape style. His blanket weight wool is soft, very soft, not suitable for rug use. He uses undyed sheep wool that he cards, cleans and spins himself. His is a lost art.
Ester says he has a couple of textiles finished and for sale, so we are eager to see them. Secundino only produces about six pieces a year.
We arrive midday to discover that the rugs are gone, bought up by an exporter. Secundino is not at home. He is out in the countryside in his fields of corn. Though we are disappointed, we make the best of it, stay to visit with Ester’s mother, sisters and nephew with his pet chicken.
This is another opportunity to use my just acquired used wide-angle Tokina 11-16mm lens. I’m liking the results!
Secundino was the drum major in the village band for decades leading the way in all the processions. His drums hang like trophies on the wall above his bed. Ester tells us that he joined the village band this year at Las Cuevitas and the family was so happy he could take part again. A mended broken hip and advanced age doesn’t hold him back.
We hope Secundino will keep weaving and we’ve put in our order for another one of his wonderful textiles.
Two years ago, Secudino was the subject for our portrait photography workshop. We have space this year for you, starting January 30, 2015.