Most of us have made the difficult choice to NOT travel to Oaxaca at least until the pandemic is under control and a vaccine is readily available. I have heard from many people asking what we can do, absent of travel, to support indigenous artisans who have been VERY hard hit by the tourist economy free-fall. Bottom line: People are suffering and we can help directly by purchasing something beautiful they have made.
We are getting a jump on Black Friday by making this opportunity available to you today!
Happy Thanksgiving — Special Dreamweavers Sale for You — 10% Discount. Sale starts TODAY
That’s why I invited Patrice Perillie, founder of Dreamweavers /Tixinda Textiles from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, to write a guest blog. Together, we are offering a select group of hand-woven, naturally-dyed textiles for sale at 10% off.
Patrice says: Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to re-think how we shop and who we support. Please consider giving a gift that will sustain indigenous weavers while delighting your loved ones! If indigenous artisans are going to survive this pandemic they need your help.
How to Buy and Get 10% Discount:
- Go to Mexican Dreamweavers Facebook Page and find the textiles for sale.
- Choose which piece(s) you wish to purchase. Please fully describe.
- You tell Patrice which piece you want and that you were referred by Oaxaca Cultural Navigator: Norma Schafer
- When you say we referred you, you will receive a 10% discount on your purchase. You will NOT receive the discount unless you say we referred you.
- You send Patrice your name, address, zip code, telephone number, item(s) description and cost
- Patrice will send you an invoice and add on the cost of shipping to the USA from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca (estimated at about $65, depending on weight — note: higher shipping costs to Canada)
- You will receive your purchase in about 7-10 days via either FedEx or Estafeta
You might ask: What is tixinda? This is the rare purple dye that is extracted from the caracol purpura sea snail. Tixinda is what the snail is called in the Mixtec language.
Below are some examples of what is available to purchase:
What Patrice Perillie, Immigrant Rights Attorney, Says …
I write to you from beautiful Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, where I have called home for the past 32 years. Here we all try to keep ourselves COVID-safe by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitizing, and not depending on government restrictions which are in earnest but rarely enforced. It has been a difficult time especially for the indigenous artisans of our world.
For the past 12 years, it has been my privilege to work with Tixinda, a cooperative of Mixtec women weavers from Pinotepa de Don Luis. We don’t see each other much now and we have had to adapt to the new COVID world. Many of the events we sell at have been canceled, including the prestigious International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Our all-volunteer, non-profit organization Mexican Dreamweavers*, has also been forced to cancel what would have been our 12th Annual Dreamweavers Exhibition and Sale, which normally takes place the fourth Sunday in January. Norma’s celebrated Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour to participate in this event is also canceled. We need to stay home to protect ourselves and our indigenous friends.
The Mixtec weavers of the Tixinda weaving cooperative are among the last of weavers in Mexico who grow their own cotton — white, green and native brown coyuchi. They spin it with the ancient drop spindle, color the fiber with natural dyes and weave it on back strap looms. An average of 400 hours of women’s work goes into each weaving!
Natural Colors from Local Plants and the Sea
Textiles feature the blues and blacks of indigo, red cochineal, and the sacred Mixtec purple dye tixinda that is extracted from a rare, nearly extinct sea snail. The color represents the divine feminine and fertility, a harvest is guided by the Moon! Pinotepa de Don Luis is the last place on earth where only 15 men, most over the age of 60, risk their lives and brave powerful waves along Oaxaca’s rocky coastline to lovingly extract the purple tixinda dye without killing the snail.
Wearables: Face-Masks, Huipiles, Shawls and More
Our beautiful, three-ply face masks make great stocking stuffers! A lovely shawl or table runner can dress up the holidays. Waist-length cropped blusas and longer huipiles add pizzazz to daily or special occasion wear. Even during the pandemic, we can create beauty in our lives by wearing something handmade.
As we celebrate the holidays in small bubbles of family and friends, we can express our love for Oaxaca by supporting her talented weavers. Our purchases give indigenous women the opportunity to stay in their villages and work from their homes, for themselves, instead of migrating without documentation to become cleaning and service industry help.
As an immigrant rights attorney, the reverse migration aspects of this work are what draws me to it, not to mention that I am an unabashed cross-cultural cross-dresser! Since the pandemic hit, I have received more and more requests to help indigenous artisans go to the US to make a living. Instead, let’s join together this Holiday Season and help them stay home and stay safe!
*Mexican Dreamweavers is a reverse migration project of La Abogada del Pueblo,Inc., a registered 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible!
To help ensure that these artisans and their textile traditions survive this pandemic, Dreamweavers has adapted to changing times and we invite you all to visit our