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Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connection and Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Meet Makers. Make a DifferenceOaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids *MINNA *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email email@example.com
- WEAVE Podcast: Oaxaca Coast Textiles & Tour
- NY Times, Weavers Embrace Natural Dye Alternatives
- NY Times, Open Thread–Style News
- NY Times, 36-Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Cooking Classes–El Sabor Zapoteco
- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
- Friends of Oaxaca Folk Art
- Hoofing It In Oaxaca Hikes
- Living Textiles of Mexico
- Mexican Indigenous Textiles Project
- Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Lending Library
- Oaxaca Weather
- Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dyes
Monthly Archives: March 2018
Millions of Monarch Butterflies: A Visit to the Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, Mexico: Study Tour Details
Comments Off on Millions of Monarch Butterflies: A Visit to the Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, Mexico: Study Tour Details
Posted in Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged Michoacan, Monarch butterflies, tour, travel
Mexico in Durham, North Carolina: Art & Textiles Trunk Show
INDIO owner Wendy Sease recently traveled with me to Chiapas. She bought up beautiful treasures for her shop. I’ve just returned to my apartment in Durham, North Carolina, for a couple of months with three suitcases filled with textiles and jewelry. We decided to collaborate.
YOU ARE INVITED. Bring a friend.
Plus, the BIG news is that my godson, twenty-three year old Omar Chavez Santiago, a recent industrial engineering university graduate, just received his FIRST 10-year visa to visit the USA. This is a really big deal, since the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is pretty thrifty in giving visas.
Omar plans to talk about the 100% natural dyes used to color the pure churro sheep wool his family at Galeria Fe y Lola uses in the rugs they weave and give demonstrations. He will have beautiful tapestry rugs for sale, too. They come in all sizes.
Where is INDIO? Historic Brightleaf Square, Downtown Durham
Brick and mortar sales are hard for people who live far away. I know that. Look for a few pieces I’ll be offering online in the next few weeks, too.
Posted in Clothing Design, Jewelry, Teotitlan del Valle, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving
Tagged Durham, Galeria Fe y Lola, INDIO, Mexico, North Carolina, sale, trunk show
Say Your Prayers. Mexico’s Retablos – Ex-Votos Folk Art For Sale
Mexico’s Ex-Votos are naive folk art that tell a story of thanksgiving for being saved from near-death or disaster. Yes, it was a miracle to survive. Usually, the person who escaped tragedy would hire a local artist to paint a tin square depicting the scene. The message of thanks may have included many misspellings, as the painters were not educated. They often include depictions of the saint to whom the supplicant is sending prayers of thanks.
Original, vintage ex-votos were taken to a nearby shrine where the person, with hammer and nail, would affix the small painting to a tree or post or altar. Hence vintage ex-votos usually always have a crude hole in the top center of the plaque.
Today, I am offering six ex-votos for sale. One is a vintage piece from the 1930’s. The others are reproductions recently painted by Mexico City folk artisan Rafael Rodriguez. I acquired these from a Mexico City collector.
Below, by the miracle of faith, Lupema Lora Rosales is saved. We even see her photo in the ex-voto.
To Buy: Please send me an email tell me which one you want. Please identify it by the NUMBER and include your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice for the piece plus shipping cost based on your location. I will ship to the USA and Canada. Thank you very much.
Below, a Franciscan friar gives his blessing when the four-headed monster is vanquished.
Below, the Virgin of Guadalupe is watching over Aristarco Lima!
Below, a duel NOT to the death, thanks to the Virgin of Soledad.
Ex-votos are often exaggerations with larger-than-life figures illustrating the peril that was dodged.
Posted in Oaxaca Mexico art and culture
Tagged ex voto, folk art, for sale, lamina, Mexico, naive painting, retablo
Michoacan Folk Art + Textile Study Tour with Butterflies
Arrive Thursday, January 31 and depart Monday, February 11, 2019. Eleven nights and twelve days in the heart of one of Mexico’s greatest folk art centers. Sold Out. Taking a waiting list.
Ceramic Catrinas, Capula, Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan
Travel to Textile and Mask/Wood Carving villages including Anhuiran. Meet Cecelia Bautista and family rebozo weavers, makers of Paracho guitars and carved masks (B, L), Return to Patzcuaro with overnight on 2/6.
M-2/11, Day 12
Depart Morelia for flights home
Potters Nicolas Fabian Fermin and his wife Maria del Rosario Lucas
This is a preliminary itinerary, although the dates are firm. We reserve the right to adjust the itinerary based on availability of artisans.
Embroidered sampler, storytelling on cloth
The State of Michoacan is one of the most diverse for production of Mexican artisan crafts. Indigenous people here make more than thirty different types of handwork, making it one of the richest states in Mexico for appreciators and collectors of folk art.
Embroidered story rebozo by Teofila Servin Barriga
You will fly into Morelia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During our week together we will stay in two Pueblo Magicos and explore the history and traditions of the native Purepecha people. You will meet noted artisans who are recognized as Grand Masters of Mexican Folk Art and invited participants to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and Feria de Artesanias at Lake Chapala.
Historic 17th C. Morelia church
These are potters, weavers, silver jewelry makers, mask and furniture wood carvers, luthiers (makers of guitars and violins), lacquer-ware makers, coppersmiths, painters and graphic artists.
Hammering and forming copper, Santa Maria del Cobre
As many of you know from participating in other trips with me, our goal is to also get out of the van, walk, explore and discover. This way, we have a deeply intimate experience with the artisans where they live and work: in their homes and studios, off the beaten path. Our goal will be to know those who have already achieved fame and meet those whose talents are yet to be widely promoted.
Completed copper vessel, sculptural beauty
In the process, we become 21st century explorers ourselves.
The market at Tzintzuntzan, Lake Patzcuaro
I have friends who live in Patzcuaro who are knowledgeable about the region. I will invite them to lead group discussions about regional artisans, folk art, ceremonial practices, and customs. One is a noted photographer and I will invite her to give us a visual overview of the region in our first days.
Hand-crafted guitar, Michoacan, Mexico
Our guide comes highly recommended, is bilingual and lives in the area. We will have luxury van transportation to take us to the areas on our itinerary. The places we will visit are safe and secure.
Intricately embroidered blouse, Lake Patzcuaro
Fishing is the theme for pottery, jewelry in Patzcuaro
Cost: Double occupancy (shared room with private bath), $2,795 per person Single occupancy (private room/bath) is $3,295 per person
All prices in USD. One-third of the total is due now to reserve. The remaining balance shall be made in two equal payments, the first on August 1, and the second on December 1, 2018.
If you reserve after August 1 and before December 1, two-thirds of the deposit is due. If you reserve after December 1, full-payment is due.
Feathered rebozos of Anhuiran, Michoacan, competition winners
Trip is limited in group size.
Ceramic artist Manuel Morales plays a vintage ocarina
What the Trip Includes:
Famed Anhuiran rebozo weaver Cecelia Bautista Caballero (right)
What the Trip Does Not Include:
Reservations and Cancellations. We accept payment with PayPal only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After December 1, 2018, refunds are not possible. If there is a cancelation on or before December 1, 50% of your deposit will be refunded. Aft that, there are no refunds.
All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health/emergency evacuation insurance with at least $50,000 of medical evacuation coverage. Proof of insurance must be sent at least 45 days before departure. In addition, we will send you by email a PDF of a witnessed waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We ask that you return this to us by email 45 days before departure. Unforeseen circumstances happen! Be certain your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico!
Plane Tickets, Arrivals/Departures: Please send us your plane schedule at least 45 days before the trip. This includes name of carrier, flight numbers, arrival and departure time.
Horsemanship and a parade, Patzcuaro
Who Should Attend • Textile and fashion designers • Weavers, embroiderers and collectors • Wholesalers/retailers who want a direct source • Photographers and artists who want inspiration • Anyone who loves cloth, culture and collaboration
Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy: We will do a bit of walking. Being here is a walker’s delight because there are pedestrian streets, although there are also hills. The altitude is 7,000 feet PLUS. If you have mobility issues or health/breathing impediments, please let us know before you register.
This may not be the study tour for you.
Purepecha, the people and the language
Traveling with a small group has its advantages and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include free time to go off on your own if you wish.
Historic church, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, soft color of age
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Pottery, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving
Tagged folk art, Mexico, Michoacan, Patzcuaro, tour, travel