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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
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- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
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- 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
Lunes Santos Procession Celebrates Easter Monday
Lunes Santos, also known as Holy Monday or Easter Monday, is part of the Semana Santa week celebration in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. The procession is a village pilgrimage, complete with horse in dazzling livery with youthful rider, children dressed as Roman soldiers and babies in white adorned with glittering wings and floral crowns. It is a photographic feast.
The procession winds through the streets of the village after beginning at the Iglesia de Preciosa Sangre de Cristo (Church of the Precious Blood) at nine in the morning. They stop at altars sheltered with tapetes (handwoven rugs) set up along the way for refreshment and rest, a reenactment of the Twelve Stations of the Cross. This is my first Semana Santa in Oaxaca — tomorrow begins our portrait photography workshop that will delve into the personal images of Semana Santa. I set my alarm for seven o’clock this morning so I would not miss this solemn village event. (Next photo workshop based in Teotitlan is during Dance of the Feather.)
Our first stop was at the corner of Av. Benito Juarez and 2 de Abril where the figures of Jesus and Mary were placed under the altar and adorned with fresh orchids. The priest said a blessing. People came to the altar to make a prayer and leave an offering.
The women had been up early preparing tejate with masa and cacao that had been ground by hand on the metate. Then men came through the crowd with handpainted gourds filled to the brim and handed one to me. It was delicioso and muy rico! We were thirsty and tired pilgrims.
I asked Josefina about the significance of the babies dressed in white with wings. They symbolize purity and innocence, she said, adding that this was an important part of the celebration. I extrapolate that it is connected to being reborn and ressurrected which is the essential meaning of Easter.
In my own faith tradition, I would interpret this to mean that each year we each have an opportunity to start afresh with new hope and opportunity to do better in the world.
At our next lengthier stop at the corner of Independencia and Hidalgo, we were served a homemade nieves (ice cream refreshment.) The priest led the assembly in prayer and the band played solemnly.
The procession wends its way through the village, stopping in each of the five sections, for villagers to give and receive blessings, picking up pilgrims along the way as was the tradition centuries ago. I am reminded of when I visited Jerusalem and encountered the pilgrims from many nations: Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. I saw them walking the Via Dolorosa to recreate history and affirm their belief. Today was no different.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Photography, Teotitlan del Valle, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged blogsherpa, class, course, Easter, Holy Monday, Mexico, Oaxaca, photography, Semana Santa, Teotitlan del Valle, workshop