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Norma writes for Selvedge Magazine Issue #109 -- Rise Up, November 2022
Norma Writes for Selvedge Latin Issue #89
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with weavers 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. Our interest is in creating connection and artisan economic development.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma Contributes Two Chapters!
- Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university program development experience. See my resume.
Study Toursd are personally curated and introduce you to Mexico's greatest artisans. They are off-the-beaten path, internationally recognized. We give you access to where people live and work. Yes, it is safe and secure to travel. Groups are limited in size for the most personal experience.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, universities and other organizations come to us to develop weaving relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *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
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Women of Chiapas Photo Essay
International Women’s Day was Thursday, March 8, 2018. It’s days later and I now find time to acknowledge, honor, recognize, applaud some of the women we met along the way during our two back-to-back Chiapas Textile Study Tours in February and March this year.
Women make, sell, suckle babies in Magdalenas Aldama, Chiapas
I don’t know all their names.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a Zapatista icon in Chiapas, role model for justice
Their hands, feet and faces are universal stories of women who work hard with little recompense.
Shop keeper, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas
Their garments tell the stories of culture, history, creativity and subjugation by Spanish conquerors who imposed clothing style as indigenous identifier.
Maria and her niece, Aguacatenango, Chiapas
Most are women who weave or embroider.
Maruch is her Tzotzil name, Maria is her Christian name, San Juan Chamula district
Some are women who craft pottery — cooking vessels and decorative jaguars, many of them life-size.
This is Esperanza sculpting a clay jaguar, Amantenango del Valle, Chiapas
A few are famous. Most are not.
Grand Master of Mexican Folk Art Juana Gomez Ramirez, Amantenango del Valle
They are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, nieces.
Rosa, center, and her nieces, Magdalenas Aldama
Some, like Rosa and her husband Cristobal, participated in the 1994 Zapatista uprising to stand for indigenous rights. The movement paved the way for a stronger voice for women.
Producing handmade paper, Los Leñateros, San Cristobal de Las Casas
They carry babies on their backs, harnessed by robozos.
Market day, San Juan Chamula, Chiapas
They use rebozos shifted to the front of their bodies so infants can suckle. They use rebozos to carry market vegetables and fruit to the cooking fires.
Lourdes, research coordinator, Museo Textil Mundo Maya
Few are professionals like Lourdes who translates Spanish to English for us, educated in sophisticated cities far away.
Maria Meza, weaving cooperative director, Tenejapa, Chiapas
Others head cooperatives, organizing the business of textile making and selling to sustain families.
A metaphor for indigenous women worldwide, essential and faceless
Some are faceless. We see their progeny.
Manuela Trevini Bellini with PomPom Shawl at her shop Punto Y Trama,
A few are expats from Italy, France, Canada, the United States or Japan, who migrate to the promise land.
Women’s hands make organic tortillas from native corn
We see hands making tortillas, tending the cooking fire, soothing a child’s cry, serving a husband dinner.
Pioneer Swiss photographer, Gertrude Duby Blom, at Na Bolom
Most of all, we know that women’s work begins early and ends late, is continuous, often self-less and usually in the service of others.
Andrea Diaz Hernandez weaves this for eight months, San Andres Larrainzar
Take a moment to consider what women around the world give as we regard those whose photos we see here.
In Yochib, Oxchuc, impaired mobility, health care access hours away
Take a moment to give thanks to all the women in the world. We are more similar than we are different.
Meet the Women of Chiapas: 2019 Textile Study Tour
What will become of the next generation of women?
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged Chiapas, international women's day, Mexico, photography, photos, textiles, Women