Oaxaca Valley and Coast Textile Study Tour is set to start Sunday, January 14, 2018, in Oaxaca city and end Wednesday, January 24, 2018, in Puerto Escondido, on Oaxaca’s Pacific coast. In between, you will meet artisans in their homes and workshops, enjoy great cuisine, dip your hands in an indigo dye-bath, travel to remote villages you may not go to on your own. This is an eclectic study tour with a focus on textiles and Oaxaca’s vast weaving culture. It also includes visits to graphic arts studios in the city.
Sold Out! Contact me to add your name to the waiting list.
Study Tour Itinerary*
1) Sunday, Jan 14. – Arrive in Oaxaca City and check into our comfortable bed and breakfast inn.
2) Monday, Jan. 15 – After breakfast, we will introduce you to Oaxaca folk art and textile culture with a noted local expert. Then, we’ll explore more with afternoon visits to meet textile collectors and artisans, and graphic artists. We will gather for a welcome dinner at one of Oaxaca’s outstanding restaurants. (B, L, D)
Hand-carved gourd art from Pinotepa Don Luis
3) Tuesday, January 16 — Natural Dye and Weaving Textile Study Tour in the Oaxaca Valley, a full-day exploration into the small weaving and dye studios of some of Oaxaca’s greatest artisans. We will travel by luxury van and have lunch at a great village comedor (family restaurant). (B, L)
Wild marigold over-dyed with indigo will become green
5) Wednesday, January 17 – Half-Day Natural Dye Workshop: Indigo Blue. You will understand the principles and chemistry of working with indigo, then make a cotton shibori scarf. Afternoon on your own. Oaxaca is famed for fine silver and gold filigree jewelry. We fit in a silver jewelry expoventa, too. (B)
6) Thursday, January 18 — Fly from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido very early in the morning, settle in and relax at our hotel on the Pacific Coast beach. Includes airfare from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido. (B)
Tending the dye bath in Teotitlan del Valle
On Oaxaca’s coast, we will be joined by a Cultural Anthropologist who has been working with local weaving villages for the past six years.
7) Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21 – – Leave after an early breakfast. Follow the textile trail high into the mountains to visit the famed weavers of San Pedro Amuzgos and San Juan Colorado, where they use back strap looms and natural dyes. We’ll stop at coops, visit markets, and have a few surprises along the way. On Friday, we’ll visit remote weaving villages of Tututepec and Huazolitlan. Overnight on the Costa Chica. (B, L)
8) On Saturday, January 20, we will go to Converse workshop where they hand-paint tennis shoes in fantastic floral and fauna, then to San Juan Colorado, then to visit Odilon Morales in Amuzgos, have lunch there, and return to Pinotepa. Overnight on the Costa Chica. (B, L)
Intricate figures woven into Pinotepa Don Luis textile
Odilon’s aunt, from San Pedro Amusgo, embroiders cloth together for huipil
9) Sunday, January 21 – We’ll return to Puerto Escondido leaving Pinotepa Nacional early in the morning to arrive in time to attend Dreamweavers Expoventa, a highlight of our textile study tour, to be held at our hotel. This is a textile extravaganza with the Tixinda Cooperative from Pinotepa Don Luis! They bring their finest garments dyed with murex (purple snail), woven with coyuchi (natural wild Oaxaca brown cotton), and posahuanco skirts You will meet the weavers, see demonstrations, and be amazed by what they make. Plus, the artful hand-painted Converse tennis shoes will be here, too. (B)
10) Monday, January 22 – We’ll take a three-hour early morning or late afternoon birding/ecology tour on the Manialtepec lagoon — beautiful and fascinating — where you will see a rare bio- luminescence…one of only two lagoons in the world to have this phenomena. And, perhaps a surprise visit from Chatino embroiderers (we are working on this). (B)
Chatino blouse detail, cross-stitch. Photo from Barbara Cleaver.
11) Tuesday, January 23 — This is a day on your own to take a day trip to the sea turtle sanctuary in Mazunte/San Agustinillo, or to explore the town of Puerto Escondido, and begin packing for the trip home. Grand finale dinner to say our goodbyes. (B, D)
Fine example of Chatino bag from Barbara Cleaver
12) Wednesday, January 24 – Transfer to Puerto Escondido or Huatulco airport and your connecting flights home. Please schedule your departure after 12:00 p.m. (noon). (B)
Sunset on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca in winter
Our resource experts are Sheri Brautigam, author of Textile Fiestas of Mexico, and Barbara Cleaver, collector and owner, Hotel Santa Fe, Puerto Escondido. Sheri will travel with us on the coast to offer her textile expertise. You can read more about Dreamweavers Expoventa in Sheri’s book.
*Note: Itinerary is subject to change. You may want to arrive early in Oaxaca city to acclimate to the 6,000 foot altitude. You may also want to stay later at the beach or travel elsewhere in Mexico when the study tour ends. After you register, we will provide you with hotel contact information if you want to make these arrangements directly.
Odilon Morales promotes his people through Arte de Amuzgo cooperative
Take this study tour to learn about:
- the culture, history and identity of cloth
- carding and spinning wool, and weaving with natural dyes
- clothing design and construction, fashion adaptations
- symbols and meaning of textile designs
- choice of colors and fibers that reflect each woman’s aesthetic while keeping with a particular village traje or costume
- graphics arts to express Mexico’s social, political culture
I have invited textile collector Sheri Brautigam to join me at the Oaxaca coast to give you a special, in-depth experience. Sheri writes the blog Living Textiles of Mexico and is recognized for her particular knowledge of Oaxaca textiles. She is author of the Thrums Textile Fiestas of Mexico: A Traveler’s Guide to Celebrations, Markets, and Smart Shopping. (I’ve contributed two chapters with photos, one for Tenancingo de Degollado and the other for Teotitlan del Valle!)
What Is Included
- 10 nights lodging at top-rated accommodations
- 10 breakfasts
- 5 lunches
- 2 dinners
- luxury van transportation for day trips as outlined in itinerary
- complete guide services
- airfare from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido
- transfer from Puerto Escondido to Huatulco airport
Example of very fine Amusgo back strap loom weaving
The workshop does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation as specified in the itinerary. We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.
Cost to Participate
- $2,695 double room with private bath (sleeps 2)
- Add $400 for a single supplement (private room and bath, sleeps 1)
Who Should Attend
- Textile and fashion designers
- Weavers, embroiderers and collectors
- Home goods wholesalers/retailers who want a direct source
- Photographers and artists who want inspiration
- Anyone who loves cloth, culture and collaboration
Reservations and Cancellations. A 40% deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in two equal payments. The first 30% payment is due on or before October 15, 2017. The second 30% payment is due on or before December 15, 2017. We accept payment with PayPal only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After December 15, 2017, refunds are not possible. You may send a substitute in your place. If you cancel on or before December 15, 2016, we will refund 50% of your deposit.
Templo Santo Domingo at sunset, Oaxaca, Mexico
The Terrain and Walking: Oaxaca is a colonial town on a 6,000 foot high desert plateau surrounded by 12,000 foot mountains. Streets and sidewalks are cobblestones, some narrow and some with high curbs.
The stones can be a bit slippery, especially when walking across driveways that slant across the sidewalk to the street. We will do a lot of walking. Being here is a walker’s delight but we do tread with caution.
If you have mobility issues or health impediments, please let me know. I would encourage you to consider that this may not be the study tour for you. When you tell me you are ready to register, I will send you a health questionnaire to complete first.
Where are you from? Where are you going? Oaxaca, Mexico. Durham, North Carolina.
Yesterday was a long travel day to get from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Durham, North Carolina. On the early morning flight from Oaxaca to Mexico City, I met Carina Pacheco from San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca. She was on her way to Cabo San Lucas where the family has a shop that sells famous Mitla woven cotton textiles.
Where are you from? she asks me. Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, I say with some pride in my voice. And, now I’m sure to add, Durham, North Carolina, too, also with equal pride. Durham will be my new home, too. Carina and I promise to stay in contact. I’m certain we will. Oaxaqueños keep their promises. Plus, we live only a few villages apart down the Panamerican Highway.
Weaver Arturo Hernandez, San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca: “I made your clothes.”
In Houston, a young man named Stefano helps me load my two giant suitcases (I’m moving, after all) onto a trolley to go through customs. Stefano is from Puebla. His great, great-grandfather came from Italy. He lives in a small town near Cholula, Puebla, populated by Italians, and speaks excellent English.
Mexico is a melting pot, filled with immigrants: Africa, Italy, Eastern Europe, Germany, France, Philippines, China, and yes, the USA. They are Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus and more. A long history of diversity shows in their complexions and features. Racial and cultural intermarriage is accepted here.
Where are you from? says Stefano. Two places, I answer. Oaxaca, Mexico and Durham, North Carolina. It’s beginning to sound real as I prepare to move into my apartment/condo in downtown Durham, which is why I’m here now. We sit down to share a meal together before he goes on to Tampa, Florida. This only happens to me with Mexicans!
Durham is an old tobacco town undergoing urban revitalization. Its downtown is filled with great restaurants and street musicians who are steeped in the South’s blues culture. It’s a pedestrian lifestyle. I’ll be close to good, longtime friends who I miss.
Downtown Durham, NC — where I live now, too
I’m also here in a Blue Bubble, where I can make a difference by participating in the NAACP and changing the course of my state’s and country’s political history. Ojala! (That’s Spanish for, god willing.)
It’s been four years since I’ve had a home in North Carolina and I’m grateful to be back. Oaxaca is my home, too, where indigenous identity speaks to me. This is where I look out over mountains and valleys where textiles woven and dyed with the hands of the artisans are a song.
And, what are in my suitcases? Oaxaca whole bean coffee. A cotton bedspread woven by Arturo Hernandez. A rebozo from Tenancingo de Degollado. A blouse from Cuetzalan, Puebla. A poncho from San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Borders are seamless in the end.
Yet, an airline representative steps onto the plane in Houston and says that due to heightened security, we will be escorted to immigration. I don’t remember that. Another new form of intimidation?
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged Durham, home, immigration, Mexico, moving, North Carolina, Oaxaca, travel, where I live