Monthly Archives: April 2022

Oaxaca Day of the Dead Folk Art Tour: October 31

We have a small van and we are ready to go! If you are in Oaxaca during Day of the Dead, we invite you to join us on this special One-Day Folk Art and Textile Tour down the Tlacolula Valley along the Pan American Highway. We start at 9 a.m. and finish around 6 p.m. We get you back to the city JIT to enjoy all the evening holiday festivities, parades and cemetery visits. We have space for 6 more people!

We are your portal to Oaxaca! This one-day customized study tour takes you beyond Oaxaca City and into the villages along the Tlacolula highway to San Pablo Villa de Mitla. We want to give you a guided cultural experience, personalized and deep. We have spent years developing relationships with the artisans we visit. This is NOT a “punch my ticket” tour.

Here is our itinerary:

  1. Stop in El Tule to visit the 3,000 year old cypress tree, a magnificent specimen noted as the oldest tree in North America.
  2. Visit a famous rug weaving family in Teotitlan del Valle that creates hand-loomed textiles with churro sheep wool that they dye with native plants and cochineal. Watch an indigo dye demonstration, try your hand at weaving on the loom, and see some amazing examples of their work.
  3. Meet a Teotitlan family cooperative that creates handwoven handbags, backpacks, tote bags and overnight bags that are made with sturdy leather straps and strong zipper closures. They also work in natural dyes!
  4. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Teotitlan del Valle where everything is organic and prepared from scratch. They grow their own native corn, grind it and prepare delicious tortillas you can slather with salsa fresca or dip in succulent Mole Negro or Mole Coloradito. Lots of menu choices, including gluten-free and vegan
  5. Visit San Pablo Villa de Mitla for a trip into the past — we take you to an antiquities dealer, off-the-beaten-path, to explore treasures that include vintage mezcal bottles, ex-votos, jewelry, molcajetes and metates, and the serendipity of what remote villagers may bring to him on consignment.

Where and When: We pick you up at a designated Oaxaca Historic Center meeting location for 9 a.m. pick-up on October 31. We return you there by 6:00 p.m.

Cost: $195 for one person or $325 for two people. If there are more than 2 people in your party, each additional person is $165.

How to Reserve: Send us an email and tell us you want The Special Day of the Dead Folk Art Tour. We will then contact you to make your non-refundable reservation deposit. The Reservation Deposit is 25% of the total cost. For example, if one person registers, the deposit is $48.75. If two people register, the deposit is $81.25, and so on.

How to Pay Your Deposit: You can make your reservation deposit one of three ways — with Zelle, with Venmo and with PayPal. Tell us how you want to make your deposit when you say you want to register. For Zelle transfer, we will send you our account number and there is NO SERVICE FEE. For Venmo or PatyPal, we send you a request for funds and add a 3% service fee. Contact us to reserve.

Balance Due: This will be paid in cash on October 31 on the day of the tour. It can be made with either US dollars or MXN pesos at the exchange rate of the day.

Please note: Tour fees include guide services, translation from Spanish to English, and full explanation of all processes and experiences. The cost of lunch and tips is not included.

Don’t be disappointed! Space is limited. This is a small group experience, with lots of personalized explanation. Thanks for choosing Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.

Day 3: Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles

There is still a great selection from Day 1: Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles, and Day 2: Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles. Please click on these links to check it out! There are a lot of beautiful handwoven, handspun 100% cotton blouses and huipiles available, many prepared with natural dyes, some with rare caracol purpura purple snail dye.

Today’s post features earrings made with jicara gourd from Pinotepa de Don Luis on the Oaxaca coast, plus bags from Chiapas and Oaxaca, ikat shawls and more. We hope you will find something that says, Welcome Spring!

As we celebrate the spring holidays and give thanks for our freedoms, let’s keep Ukraine in our hearts and minds. For this sale, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC will donate 5% of all sales to HIAS, an international refugee relief program, for support of Ukraine refugees regardless of religious affiliation and in support of Ukraine and refugees from the Americas amassed at the Mexico-USA border waiting for entry.

How to Buy: mailto:norma.schafer@icloud.com Tell us the item you want by number. Send your complete mailing address. Tell us how you want to pay (3 choices, below). We accept three payment methods:

  1. Zelle bank transfer with no service fee.
  2. Venmo with a 3% service fee.
  3. PayPal with a 3% service fee.

When you tell us by email that you are ready to order and have made your selections by Item Number, you will also tell us your payment preference. We will then confirm your order, mark your item sold, send you totals and our Zelle account information. For Venmo or PayPal, we will send you a request for payment that includes a 3% service fee.

Note: We add on $13 for the mailing fee to your total order.

#31. Pillow cover 18”x16” from San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca. $65
SOLD 32 wild marigold dyed ikat shawl wool weft and cotton warp made in Oaxaca. 20” wide x 76” long — great transition to spring and chilly evenings. $85.

SOLD 33. Indigo blue ikat shawl or throw or table cover or beach towel. 100% cotton. Made in Oaxaca. Lots of tone variation from pale to darker. 25”wide x 80” long. $75

SOLD. #34. Khadi Oaxaca hand-spun and woven blouson top, dyed with wild marigold and indigo. size L. 31” wide x 23” long. perfect crop top for jeans! $165
SOLD 35. Wine colored carved jucara gourd earrings, 1-3/4” diameter. Very lightweight + impressive. $25
SOLD #36. Black stars earrings, 1-3/4” diameter, jicara gourd carved. $25
#37. Red flower jicara gourd carved earrings, 1” diameter with 2” dangle. $25
#38. Purple carved jicara gourd earrings, 1-1/4” diameter with 2-3/4” dangle. $25
#39. Cochineal dyed silk cocoon earrings, 1” flowers with 2” dangle. $25
#40. Black circle earrings, carved jicara gourd, 1-3/4” diameter. $25
SOLD 41. Embroidered face mask. cover your KN95 with a flower garden! $12
#42. Teotitlan del Valle wool woven bag, zipper, lined, interior picket, sturdy leather straps. Bag is 11×11” and strap is 27” end-to-end. $55
#43. Finest woven ixtle agave fiber market bag, expa dable with adjustable leather strap, 8” x 9” $65
#44. San Andres Larrainzer, Chiapas small backstrap loom woven sampler, wall-hanging. 4” x 11” $50
#45. Tenejapa, Chiapas woven bag, zipper close. 6-3/4” wide x 5-1/2” high, 37” strap end to end. $32
#46. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas wool bag with embroidered flowers. 9” x 10-1/2” with 47” cord end to end. $32
#47. Oaxaca embroidered cancas tote bag, 14-1/2” x 11” with 30” double strap. $35
#48. Embroidered zipper tote, canvas, lined with interior pocket, 16-1/2” x 12”. $50

Day 2: Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles

As I wrote yesterday for the Day 1: Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles, I purchased a lot of beautiful handwoven, handspun 100% cotton blouses and huipiles when we were on the Oaxaca Coast and Chiapas Highlands. Most are naturally dyed, some with the rare caracol purpura purple snail dye. There are still many extraordinary pieces available from yesterday. Plus, today features more. We hope you will find something that says, Welcome Spring!

Meanwhile, enjoy the spring holidays. Despite all the alarming news about conflict and climate change, there is a lot to be grateful for. Let’s keep Ukraine in our hearts and minds, and make a donation to support all those displaced from this conflict in honor of freedom and democracy in this season of celebration. To life!

For this sale, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC will donate 5% of all sales to HIAS, an international refugee relief program, for support of Ukraine refugees regardless of religious affiliation and in support of Ukraine and refugees from the Americas amassed at the Mexico-USA border waiting for entry.

How to Buy: mailto:norma.schafer@icloud.com Tell us the item you want by number. Send your complete mailing address. Tell us how you want to pay (3 choices, below). We accept three payment methods:

  1. Zelle bank transfer with no service fee.
  2. Venmo with a 3% service fee.
  3. PayPal with a 3% service fee.

When you tell us by email that you are ready to order and have made your selections by Item Number, you will also tell us your payment preference. We will then confirm your order, mark your item sold, send you totals and our Zelle account information. For Venmo or PayPal, we will send you a request for payment that includes a 3% service fee.

Note: We add on $13 for the mailing fee to your total order.

#16. Outstanding huipil from the Amusgo village of Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, across the Oaxaca border. Natural dyes, backstrap loomed, finest supplementary weft gauze. Flowing, drapey. 30×44” Collector’s piece. $795
SOLD. #17. Embroidered blusa from Aguacatenango, Chiapas made by Francisca. Wear your summer flowers. Size Medium. $75
#18. Night sky blusa made by Grand Master of Mexican Folk Art Lucia Santis Gomez in Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas. Backstrap loomed. three months of work! 23”w x 25” long $450
#19.Blusa dyed with gourd and caracol purpura rare purple snail dye, from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca. 29” wide x 30” long. $275

SOLD #21. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Agave fiber handwoven market bag with adjustable leather strap. bag is 13×13” and expands to twice the size. $125
SOLD#22. Black on black handwoven, backstrap loomed gauze top from Venustiana Carranza, Chiapas. 23×23” $145
#23. Confetti huipil from Pinotepa de Don Luis, handwoven by Sebastiana from handspun cotton. Subtle stripes and iconic symbols of double-headed eagles accent this piece. Size L-XL. 33”wide x 39” long. $265
#24. Shoulder bag, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero Amusgo cooperative. Design is supplementary weft wiven into the cloth on the backstrap loom. Bag is 16” wide x 14” l long. strap is 25” long (50” total). $80

SOLD #26. From Pinotepa de Don Luis, handspun cotton dyed with rare caracol purpura purple snail. Use as scarf, wall hangin or table runner, or make into a dress. 23” wide x 68” long. $95

SOLD 27. From Venustiana Carranza, Chiapas, where the climate is tropical! Gauze woven shimmering silver huipil embellished with white, purple, and pink supplementary weft designs of mountains, rain and corn. 24” wide x 32” long. $285
#28. From Famed Alberto Lopez Gomez, Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas. Handwoven, backstrap loomed. 22” wide x 25” long. $450
#29. A rare find from San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas, huipil dyed with nanche bark and cochineal. 21” wide x 36” long. $265
SOLD. #30. San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, huipil with all natural dyes: coyuchi, iron oxide, mahogany. L-XL. 36” wide x 40” long. $285

#31. Handwoven, backstrap loomed, from Chenalho, Chiapas. 100% cotton, supplementary weft. 23”x 26” $85

Mixed (Shopping) Bag: Oaxaca + Chiapas Textiles

I’m back in Taos, arriving just in time for April winds and lots of blooming plants. Kerchoo. They tell me this is springtime in northern New Mexico and the Rockies. Now I know why my friend Winn, who has lived here for a long time, chooses to stay in Oaxaca until the end of April despite the heat there!

I’m settling in to high desert life here after Jacob and Shelley’s wedding in San Clemente, California on March 26. The new house construction is coming along, albeit more slowly than anticipated because of all the obvious supply chain slowdowns. I’ve finished my taxes (early), and have settled down to sorting through all the wonderful clothes I purchased to support some very talented artisans on the Oaxaca coast and Chiapas highlands. I’m dividing the more than 24 pieces I’m offering for sale into two posts in order not to overwhelm you with choices! Here is the first group. I’ll likely publish the next group either over the weekend or on Monday.

Meanwhile, enjoy the spring holidays. Despite all the alarming international and domestic news, there is a lot to be grateful for. Let’s keep Ukraine in our hearts and minds, and make a donation to support all those displaced from this conflict in honor of freedom and democracy in this season of celebration. To life!

For this sale, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC will donate 5% of all sales to HIAS, an international refugee relief program, for support of Ukraine refugees regardless of religious affiliation and in support of Ukraine and refugees from the Americas amassed at the Mexico-USA border waiting for entry.

How to Buy: mailto:norma.schafer@icloud.com Tell us the item you want by number. Send your complete mailing address. Tell us how you want to pay (3 choices, below). We accept three payment methods:

  1. Zelle bank transfer with no service fee.
  2. Venmo with a 3% service fee.
  3. PayPal with a 3% service fee.

When you tell us by email that you are ready to order and have made your selections by Item Number, you will also tell us your payment preference. We will then confirm your order, mark your item sold, send you totals and our Zelle account information. For Venmo or PayPal, we will send you a request for payment that includes a 3% service fee.

Note: We add on $13 for the mailing fee to your total order.

#2. SOLD Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas gauze huipil, backstrap loom woven w/sparkly yellow, green, red accents in supplementary weft. 23” wide x 33” long. $245
SOLD #3. Native Oaxaca green, coyuchi and cream cotton, handspun, backstrap loomed from Amusgo group in Guerrero. 22” wide x 28” long. $85
#4. From Alberto Lopez Gomez, Kokul Pok cooperative, Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas. He was invited to 2020 NY Fashion Week! Workmanship is outstanding. 22”wide x 24” long. $450
SOLD. #5. Cafe au lait color with coyuchi and green cotton accents, handspun cotton, backstrap loom woven from San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca. 24” wide x 22” long. $165
#6. French knots and organic cotton, Aguacatenango, Chiapas Size L 15” of embrodiery across the bodice. 27” long. $145

#7. same color as above #6, but size XL. $145

#8. Zinacantan Flower Garden. Embroidered on polyester, drip dry. 25” wide x 29” long unfinished hem. $110

#9. Zinacantan Flower Garden 2. Chiapas. 25×29” $110

SOLD #10. San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, crop top, perfect for jeans, too. Indigo and wild marigold. backstrap loomed. 31” wide x 21” long. $225
#11. Chenalho, Chiapas dog paw design, supplementary weft, blackstrap loomed. 100% cotton. Shawl or table runner! 19” wide x 80” long. $95
SOLD #12. San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, backstrap loomed. Dyed with raw indigo leaves, supplementary weft woven with coyuchi native cotton. 28” wide x 39” long. $325

#14. Black backstrap loom woven gauze blouse from Venustiano Carranza, accented with supplementary weft colorful pattern. #15 Complimentary scarf included. Blouse is 23” wide x 23” long. Scarf is 15” wide x 72” long. Buy both for $185. Blouse alone is $155. Scarf alone is $75.

Thanks for looking. Remember, please take your measurements to see if a garment will fit. All sales final.

Making progress. Home building on the Rio Grande River Gorge.

A World of Indigo in Albuquerque, NM

In Oaxaca, indigo is cultivated in the hot, sub-tropical climate along the southern coast in a town called Santiago Niltepec on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. A leafy plant, it is usually found in the band around the world along the equator. For example: Africa. India. Japan. South Carolina. There are exceptions, as this Indigo Around the Globe exhIbition at the Albuquerque Museum describes the works of Scott Sutton, who is growing and dyeing with indigo in Taos, New Mexico, where I live when I’m not in Oaxaca. Nikesha Breeze, also from Taos, explores her own identity through Negro Cloth, the root of American blue jeans.

Nikesha Breeze sculpture, from cotton and raw indigo to blue jeans, homage to the enslaved

I love indigo. I look for it and collect it. i wore an indigo tunic woven and dyed by Sebastiana Guzman in Pinotepa de Don Luis to my son’s wedding. My sister and I traveled independently to Japan in 2019 on a quest for indigo. Same when I went to Gujarat, India — I had indigo on my mind. I’ve not been to west Africa, but I know Gasali Adeyemo, originally from Kenya who now lives in Santa Fe. He makes stunning shibori cloth that is featured in this exhibition, and that he sells online and at the International Folk Art Market.

Indigo isn’t really a dye. It is a pigment. It adheres to the surface of a fiber — cotton, wool, silk, etc. and requires no mordant (fixative). It is used to stain wood and concrete, too. An indigo bath needs to be kept at 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the delicate process requires oxidization in order to work.

Japanese indigo jacket embellished with sashiko

Indigo was the African cloth of royalty. It’s cultivation and harvest and transformation into a dye material was also dependent on the labor of African slaves who brought their knowledge to the Americas, exploited for economic gain by 18th and 19th century planters who exported it to England’s textile industry. At one time, indigo was the second most valuable export to Britain from the Americas.

Hispanic New Mexico, wool and indigo

In North and South Carolina, slaves were given indigo-dyed cloth to wear because of its durability and as a way to distinguished the enslaved from plantation owners. During the Civil Rights Movement, denim was reclaimed by African Americans who wanted to push against the pressure to dress in a way deemed “acceptable” by white peers.

in Japan, indigo jackets were worn by fire fighters because of its flame retardant properties. In the cold north islands cotton didn’t grow, so rough hemp was used to pad layered quilted fabrics that served as jackets and bed coverings. Known as boro, this cloth was pieced using salvaged indigo scraps, held together by stitches called sashiko, and handed down through the generations. A fashion born of poverty, it is now very collectible and priced in the stratosphere.

Early Navajo Dine weavers used indigo in the chief blankets they wove to keep them warm in harsh New Mexico winters.

Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca indigo rug

In Oaxaca, my family, Fe y Lola Rugs, uses indigo in the rugs they weave. They prepare the dye bath and dye hand-spun organic churra wool yarn skeins in small batches to get the most intense color.

Our family also offers natural dye workshops that introduce people to the chemistry of indigo.

i found this exhibition beautiful, comprehensive and satisfying. If you are coming to New Mexico, don’t miss it. Thanks to Nancy Craft for suggesting that I see it.

Artist Laura Anderson Barbata from Brooklyn, NY, uses indigo-dyed cotton brocade, printed cotton and machine embroidery from Oaxaca, to create costumes for stilt dancers. We also saw her work a few years ago at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.

On exhibit through April 24, 2022.

Yes! I’m now back in Taos. Still snow on the mountains.