Red roses for love, a Mother’s Day Gift to you
First, a bouquet of red roses for all mothers, daughters and foster mothers. For the women in our lives who give us strength, courage and determination to stand up with shoulders back, head high. For the women who came before us to open the path and show us the way. Saludos y felicidades, siempre.
Mother’s Day, dedicated to my own mother, Dorothy Schafitz Beerstein, b. February 14, 1916, d. November 15, 2015, and the remarkable women of Mexico.
Embroidered story rebozo by Teofila Servin Barriga, Patzcuaro, Michoacan
Rosa, center, and her nieces, Magdalenas Aldama
In Yochib, Oxchuc,talented weaver with impaired mobility, limited health care access
The girls who will become women, learning from the matriarch
The young women, keepers of tradition and culture
To those of us who explore and discover and support the makers
Cousins Maya and Alicia in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca
The generations: Grandma Juana, Baby Luz, and Mama Edith
Grower of native corn, Mixe region of Oaxaca
My own mother, two years before her death at age 99
For everything hand-made, here’s to the makers!
The women pottery makers of San Marcos Tlapazola
Intricately embroidered blouse, San Bartolome Ayautla, 8 months to make
To Lila Downs, who tells stories in song, with compassion
Frida Kahlo Calderon, our muse and heroine
Susie in Chiapas, thanks to the adventurers who visit
To the women who love and give care
Deceased potter Dolores Porras, inspiration for Atzompa
To Margarita, the basket weaver, Benito Juarez Market
Thank you to all the women who make a difference just by being you!
Dye from Murex Snails Colors Ancient Cloth Blue and Purple
Writing from Santa Fe, NM: I’m staying at the house of my textile designer friend Norma Cross, who creates felted fiber clothing using natural dyes, wool, silk, and cotton.
An array of natural dyes, including caracol and indigo, used to weave cloth
I brought with me a shirt made on the Oaxaca coast with threads colored purple from the caracol purpura dye. That led her to send me this article about the Phoenician history of harvesting the purple snail and dyeing religious and political garments with snail ink.
Linking Ancient Snails to Common Threads in Israel Today
Indigo, cochineal and caracol purpura huipil, Pinotepa de Don Luis
This process is still in practice today in Oaxaca, Mexico, along the Pacific Coast. The murex snail is now extinct in Morocco where the Phoenicians plied the waters during the Roman Empire. It is extinct now in most places around the world. There is a revival in Israel where the natural blue color is being used for religious garments as it once was in the 8th century.
Preservation of the snail and it’s priceless ink is alive and well in Oaxaca. Yet, the risk of extinction is high because of poaching. I hear that the resort hotels in Huatulco make a special cocktail using the purple snail. They buy the dye from people who illegally harvest it. And, people are unconscious consumers!
On our Textile Tour of Oaxaca’s Costa Chica, starting January 11, 2019, we will see some glorious handwoven cotton fabrics where the supplementary weft and embroidered threads of the joinery use the rare purple dye. The pieces are created in two neighboring villages, San Juan Colorado and Pinotepa de Don Luis, where we will visit artisans and see how they prepare the native cloth.
I hope you can join us.
Questions? Please contact me.
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Posted in Clothing Design, Cultural Commentary, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged caracol purpura, Mexico, murex, natural dyes, Oaxaca, purple snail, textile tour, travel