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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 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
Textile Fiestas of Mexico: New Guidebook for Smart Travelers
The book, Textile Fiestas of Mexico: A Traveler’s Guide to Celebrations, Markets and Smart Shopping by Sheri Brautigam and published by Thrums Books, is hot off the press. It’s a comprehensive guide to some of Sheri’s favorite Mexican textile villages and towns. I contributed two chapters!
Textile Fiestas of Mexico, book cover
Sheri invited me to cover Teotitlan del Valle, the Oaxaca rug weaving village where I live, and Tenancingo de Degollado, the ikat cotton rebozo weaving center in the State of Mexico, where I often visit and lead study tours. Of course, the answer was Yes! I’m happy to say I contributed both the descriptive narrative and photography for these two sections.
Grand Master Evaristo Borboa Casas, age 92, ikat rebozo backstrap loom weaver
Sheri and I share our secrets with you because our first priority is to support the wonderful, talented Mexican artisans — many of whom are Grand Masters of Mexican Folk Art. Whether you join a tour or get there on your own, you want this book in your back pocket or tote bag for insider tips.
Selection of Teotitlan del Valle wool rugs from Porfirio Guttierez studio
How You Can Order the Book!
$24.95 trade paperback
200 color photographs, map, glossary, and index
Buy your copy at Amazon, ClothRoads, and at your favorite Indie bookstore. Distributed to the book and library trade by Independent Publishers Group. If you live in Oaxaca, the book is soon to be available at Amate Books on Macedonio Alcala.
How to Buy in Mexico
Patrice Wynn is the Mexican distributor for Textile Fiestas of Mexico. She is also selling the book to buyers in Mexico, both at AbraZos, Zacateros 24 in Centro Historico, San Miguel de Allende, and also by mail. Please write to email@example.com to get details of how you can have it shipped to you in Mexico, either as an individual or as a store.
Here’s a preview of photos I contributed to the chapters on Tenancingo de Degollado and Teotitlan del Valle.
Tenancingo weaver Jesus Zarate with his amazing ikat butterfly rebozo
Come with me to Tenancingo, February 2-10, 2017 for an ikat textile study tour. We have a few spaces open for single and double occupancy. You’ll meet everyone I talk about in the book!
Knotting the rebozo fringes can take two or three months
The beauty of the book is that you can use it when you travel independently or as a resource on a guided visit.
Weaver in the Teotitlan del Valle rug market
One-day Natural Dye Textile & Weaving Study Tour–November 3, 2017
We tell you how to get there, the best artisans (in our humble opinion) to visit and when the major festivals are scheduled.
We recommend how to negotiate purchases in the markets and from artisans in their homes. What is the fair and ethical way to shop in Mexico? Sheri explains it!
Indigo dye pot, Teotitlan del Valle
We help you discern the good from the bad, the better quality from the mediocre.
At the Sunday rebozo market, Tenancingo de Degollado
And, we give you restaurant and lodging tips — because where to eat and sleep means you will have a more enjoyable experience.
Ancient Zapotec temple stone, Teotitlan del Valle Community Museum
Through description and photos, you can see what to expect before you get there and plan your travels so your time is well-spent.
Juana Gutierrez cards sheep wool, a woman’s tradition to prepare for spinning
Chapters include Oaxaca, Chiapas, Uruapan and Puebla, plus Estado de Mexico (State of Mexico). You go deep into local markets, cooperatives and regional celebrations.
Ikat rebozos by Evaristo Borboa Casas, Tenancingo de Degollado
Author Sheri Brautigam owned a textile design studio in San Francisco for twenty years. She has worked as an English Language Fellow for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, and as a serious collector and purveyor of fine indigenous textiles from Mexico and Guatemala. She sells collector-quality textiles through her online shop, Living Textiles of Mexico, and writes a blog, Living Textiles of Mexico.
Omar Chavez Santiago explains the symbology of the weaving patterns
FYI: Many of you know that Teotitlan del Valle is a town of about 6,000 people and 2,000 looms. The major “industry” here is wool tapestry weaving. In the book, I concentrate on a handful of weavers who work only with natural dyes. We are committed to promoting environmental sustainability and respiratory health.
Cleaning a rug woven with naturally dyed wool–Federico Chavez Sosa
Posted in Books & Resources, Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Photography, Teotitlan del Valle, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged book, celebrations, fiestas, guidebook, Ikat, independent, Mexico, natural dyes, Norma Schafer, Sheri Brautigam, shopping, textiles, tips, tourism, tours, travel