Tag Archives: huipil

Life Update and All Things Mexico Spring Clearance

Here in Northern New Mexico the winds are gusting. While some of the early spring wildfires are contained, more are igniting, mostly from lightening strikes. Near Georgia O’Keeffe’s home in Abiquiu a new fire erupted in El Rito, a small mountain community about 30 miles from where I live. Scary stuff. Smoke obliterated the mountains and I had to wear a face mask in the car. The air smelled like a campfire. We are in severe drought conditions and global warming is taking its toll. A couple of weeks ago, an unusual early spring hurricane hit the Oaxaca coast hard. My friends reported lots of devastation. Climate change is wrecking havoc.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my small house to be completed on the Rio Grande Gorge. everything is delayed and costs have soared. It was supposed to be May, then amended to the end of June. I’m hoping for this so I can close, get my mortgage and return to Oaxaca in time for the Summer Textile Mountain Tour. Hoping this will happen, though not sure. (We can still register you — there are a few open spaces — register by June 20 and get 10% off!)

Celebrate summer with a colorful hand-embroidered shoulder bag. 9×10” with 42” strap, lined with zipper. Specify by color. Was $56 each. Discounted to $29 each.

I’m still culling my collection and will continue to do so as I prepare for another move. Here are some wonderful pieces to offer to you today.

To Buy: Please send me an email with your name, email address, mailing address and include the Item Number you wish to purchase. We add $14 flat rate to mail and we are happy to combine orders in one shipment. Tell me if you want to pay with a Zelle transfer (no service fee) or use PayPal or Venmo (with a 3% service fee). For PayPal or Venmo, I will send you a request for funds. Thanks very much. -Norma

#1 Las Sanjuaneras blusa. natural dyes, indigo and banana bark. 30” wide x 23” long. $225
SOLD #2 Las Sanjuaneras blusa. Índigo and mahogany. 30” wide x 27” long. $225.
SOLD #3 Tote/weekend bag, indigo and leather, lined, zipper, interior pockets. Wool tapestry hand-woven. $155.
SOLD #4 Coyuchi cotton huipil from Zacoalpan, Guerrero. 28” wide x 37” long. Deeply discounted $295.
#5 From Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, gorgeous fuchsine huipil, handspun cotton. 31” wide x 46” long. sturdy fabric. $325
#6 Pinotepa de Don Luis blusa dye with gourd and rare purple snail. 29” wide x 29” long $290.
#7 from Cancuc, Chiapas, huipil, dyed with nanche fruit and cochineal. 20” wide x 35” long. $250.
SOLD #8 Xochistlahuaca backstrap loomed shoulder bag Bargain! $65
SOLD #9 Collector’s Huipil from Xochistlahuaca. 30” wide x 45” long Was $875 NOW $475.
#10 Size XL french knot embroidered blouse from Chiapas, spectacular workmanship. Was $145 Now $110.
#11. San Andres Larrainzar blusa. Backstrap loomed. 22-1/2” wide x 25” long. $68
SOLD #13. From the famous Palafox family of San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca Size XL 35” wide x 33” long. cochineal, wild marigold, indigo. sea creature motifs woven into finest handwoven gauze cotton. You get this for what was paid for it. $375
#14. from Chiapas designer Alberto Lopez Gomez, the best quality huipil from the region. Size Medium. You get this for cost! $375
#15. And this one from Alberto Lopez Gomez. size Medium Also at cost $375

COMING UP — JEWELRY!

San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, Where Textiles Tell Stories

San Juan Colorado is up the mountain about an hour-and-half from Pinotepa Nacional along the Costa Chica. It’s at the end of the road, so secluded that the Spanish Conquest and proselytizing priests didn’t reach here until much later. It’s why traditional backstrap loom weaving and natural dyeing have survived over the years.

Mostly women weave here, but some men are also learning. Girls start when they are around ten years old. Native wild preHispanic cotton grows here, too — caramel colored brown, mint green, creamy white make up the palette. White thread can also be dyed red with cochineal, blue with indigo, yellow with wild marigold, brown with nuts and bark. Brazilwood turns white cotton to a fucsia hot pink. Cooking cotton in an iron pot dulls the color. White becomes a soft grey.

We visit one of the oldest cooperatives, Jini Nuu. We gather in the courtyard under the shade of an almond tree The bark is also a dye material. Yuridia and Verónica welcome us. The older women are sitting on the ground, legs tucked under them, bare toes peeking out from their posahuanco wrap-around skirts, spinning cotton with the drop spindle, picking seeds from the cotton to get ready to spin it, and weaving on the backstrap loom.

Our group sits down for lunch. We are served tamales stuff with a local specialty of mangrove mussels and another type stuffed with chicken. There is a spicy beef broth soup, tasty fruit waters, avocado, Oaxaca queso fresco, and plenty of made in the comal tortillas. We are in foodie heaven. Our desert is a shot of Piedra de Alma mezcal.


Mid-afternoon we cross the village to visit Camerina and the Las Sanjuaneras cooperative where they weave beautiful gauze fabric and work only in natural dyes. Their oldest member is age 81 and their youngest is in her 30’s. Cooperatives are important social and economic organizations, offering ways to marketi and also provide mutual support.

Let us know if you want to go in 2023

Designs woven into the cloth are selected by each weaver. They I clise the flora and fauna of the region. Since we are near the coast, this includes crab, turtles, ducks, birds, stars, rainbows, mountains, scorpions, pine trees, corn plants, chickens. The row of women figures holding hands depicts solidarity. Shoulder decorations of zigzag depict the Feathers of Quetzalcoatl — the serpent god. The double-headed eagle has special significance: the duality of life, ting-hangs, man-woman, fertility.

Collector’s Textile Sale: Preview 3

It’s been 19 months since I’ve been to my home in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. In the past several years I’ve been walking, and eating for health (gluten and lactose free). Most of the handwoven clothes I have, mostly from Oaxaca and Chiapas, do not fit! If you wear a size Medium, Large or Extra Large, then look closely below for some beautiful
blouses (blusas) and dresses (huipiles). Many rare, most with natural dyes.

How to buy: Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice after you ID your choices. The invoice will include the cost of the garment + $12 mailing. If you want more than once piece, I’m happy to combine mailing. I’ll be mailing from Taos, NM when I return after November 15.

SOLD. 3.0. From Rancho Grande in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca in the mountains between the city and Veracruz. An eye-popping huipil with embroidered flowers and butterflies, birds and bees. 27” wide x29” long. Sells for over $400 in Oaxaca. $165.
SOLD #3.1. This open cut work is called deshilado. Very difficult to achieve. 100% natural cotton. Simple and elegant. 28” wide x 29” Long. $68.
SOLD 3.2. Blusa from San Antonino Castillo Velasco near Ocotlan. Bodice is filled with embroidered birds and flowers. Truly remarkable work. 24” wide x25”long. $125.
SOLD. 3.3. From Remigio Mestas and Los Baules de Juana Cata in Oaxaca City. Handwoven on backstrap loom. Indigo and iron oxide natural dyes. A fine blusa from San Juan Cotzocon. 27” wide x 27” long. $145.
SOLD 3.4. Dimensions and description same as #3.5. $72.
#3.5. From Remegio Mestas and Los Baules de Juana Cata, the finest indigenous textile gallery in Oaxaca. Size large. Cotton with intricate smocking to make the deer bodice design. 23” wide across chest, 29” long. $72.
SOLD. 3.6. Chiapas top. Sturdy cotton woven on the backstrap loom. 31” wide x 35”long. Embroidered trim around neck, sleeves, hem. Great with jeans. $75.
SOLD 3.7. From Pinotepa de Don Luis, caracol púrpura purple sea snail dyed threads embroidered collar on backstrap loomed fabric. 28” wide x 29” long. $185.
SOLD. 3.8. Elaborately woven gala huipil, the fanciest and most detailed from the Amusgo village of Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero just across the Oaxaca border. This is a $700 garment. Takes a year to weave. Gauzy for hot weather. 33” wide x 35” long. $350.
Sold. 3.9. From Pinotepa Nacional, a detailed embroidered collar on white back strap loomed fabric. 25” wide x 29” long. $145.
SOLD. 3.10. Khadi Oaxaca natural dye blusa in wild marigold and indigo design in the supplementary weft. Design is woven and not embroidered. Comfy and like a poncho but closed side seams. 32” wide x25”long. $95.
SOLD 3.11. Dreamweavers cooperative in Pinotepa de Don Luis. Rare caracol púrpura purple snail dye and handspun fine white cotton. Subtle. Elegant. 29” wide x 32” long. $175.
SOLD. #3.12. An outstanding example of an Arte de Amusgo huipil from San Pedro Amusgo and Odilón Morales in indigo and native brown coyuchi cotton that is hand spun. Woven on the backstrap loom. 28” wide x 40” long. A true collector’s piece. Look at the exquisite detail of the bodice. A $1,200 garment. Yours for $495.

Give Meaning: Las Sanjuaneras Textiles from Oaxaca–Handmade, Heartfelt

A handmade, hand-woven textile from Oaxaca is a meaningful gift this year when so few tourists are there to support artisans. Instead of taking you into remote villages to meet the makers this year, I am bringing what they make to the USA to offer them to you. Please support them.

Today’s Sale Features Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative

Read about the Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative here!

We can collectively help alleviate the economic ravages of Covid-19 this way. Please consider helping the women who make these beautiful garments by making a purchase either for yourself or for a loved one. These are one-of-a-kind treasures.

SOLD. #2. Brisaida. Indigo, almond bark. 31×52″ $525

Made-by-hand means:

  1. Growing the organic, native cotton in small mountain plots.
  2. Cleaning, carding and then spinning the cotton with the drop spindle (malacate).
  3. Picking locally sourced plant materials for natural dyes; buying cochineal and indigo from specialty farmers.
  4. Making the dye baths and dyeing the threads.
  5. Dressing the back-strap loom.
  6. Weaving the threads on the ancient back-strap loom.
  7. Hand-sewing the wefts of cloth together with intricate stitches to make a garment.
  8. Washing and pressing the finished textile.
  9. Packing it up and mailing it to us to prepare for you.

Measurements: First number is width. Second number is length. Width is measure across the front, side seam to side seam.

#12. Brisaida. 30×21″ $320

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services–so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #5. Camerina. Indigo + ferrous oxide. 27×21″ $295.
SOLD #4. Camerina. Indigo. Medium weight. 29×33″ $320

Where is Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative located? At the end of a winding mountain road up from MEX 200 on the coast at Pinotepa Nacional is the weaving village of San Juan Colorado. It’s about four hours from Puerto Escondido and is part of our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour 2022 (next year). Meanwhile, we can support this talented group while we wait until it is safe to travel again!

SOLD. #9. Josefina. 36×24″ Medium weight. $350
SOLD. #3. Andrea. Indigo + Native Cotton Gauze. 33×42″ $445.

Textile Care: Dry clean or wash by hand. To wash, turn garment inside out. Immerse in cold water using a mild soap such as Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Don’t use Woolite — it leeches color. Gently massage the cloth. Squeeze and roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Hang to dry. Use medium steam heat to iron if needed.

#11. Claudia. Marigold, medium weight. 35×40″ $425.
#10. Claudia. Iron oxide, mahogany. Medium weight. 36×37″ $425
SOLD. #7. Andrea. Indigo, mahogany gauze. 34×27″ $340

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #14 Finely woven, iron oxide. 34×39″ $325
#15. Iron oxide + indigo. 30×34″ $285
Picking native green cotton in San Juan Colorado
#8. Camerina. 31×21-1/2″ Brazilwood, nanche. $295

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! — DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #19. Andrea. Marigold, chocolatillo. 35-1/2×24″. $295.
#16. Aurora. Beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22″ $325.
SOLD. #17 Margarita. Marigold, iron oxide, beet, brazilwood. 22-3/4×35″ $185.
SOLD. #18. Aurora. 19×28″. Nanche, mahogany, almond, beet. $195.

Back to Textiles: Amusgo Weaving, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero

So-Chees-Lah-Hwa-Kah. I spell it out in transliteration so you can say it more easily. Short hand is So-Chee!

I took the last two weeks off from writing and blogging to take a road trip to the Midwest where I visited friends in South Bend, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. It was a welcome diversion from routine. While on the road, I was in touch with Yecenia (Yesi) Lopez after contacting her earlier about selecting some of her Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores Cooperative’s beautiful textiles for us to see and purchase. I made the order from South Bend and when I returned to Durham yesterday, the box was there waiting for me at the front door.

Sale Starts: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Preview of Xochistlahuaca textiles

About Amusgos Textiles

There are 17 garments total. Some are natural dyes. Some are native green, white and coyuchi (honey colored) cotton grown in the village on small farm plots. There is one scarf. Most are blusas and there are a few long huipiles. Even as we are approaching winter, these make beautiful, colorful tops to layer over a long-sleeve silk T-shirt to wear with leggings, pants, jeans or a skirt.

The Amusgo people are an indigenous group with their own distinct language who live north and south along the Oaxaca-Guerrero border. The closest town to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero is Ometepec. It is more than five hours north of Puerto Escondido and is considered part of the Costa Chica region that extends to just south of Acapulco.

This is a traditional gala Xochistlahuaca huipil
Maximina picks native green cotton from her fields

About Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores, from Yesi Lopez de Jesus

“We are a group of women from the municipality of Xochistlahuaca, the original community where the Amusgos people live. We decided to work in a group that we named the Cooperativa Llanura de las Flores — Plain of Flowers — which is the meaning of the name of our Suljaa people in our indigenous language. This is what Xochistlahuaca means in Amusgo: Plain of Flowers.

“We learned to weave and spin thread from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters. Weaving is learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Now, we understand that with threads we create art. In each textile that we make, there is a piece of us, our time, our knowledge, patience, love and part of our life.

“It is necessary to work in a cooperative to help each other out as women, to contribute to the economic well-being of our household, to feed, educate and provide healthcare for our children and our families.

“The textile, the huipil, everything we create with the threads and our imagination, is not only a piece for sale or simple merchandise. Our creations are living pieces in which we capture part of our daily life. We weave the iconography of our Plain of Flowers.

“This is why we think that as a cooperative we can continue working and sharing with the younger generations so that this ancient knowledge is never lost.

“We are 25 women who continue to weave, fighting for life, defending the loom and native cotton.”

When you purchase one (or more) of these beautiful textiles, you are bringing the heart and soul of the weaver and her family into your home and heart. Not only do you add beauty to your own life, you are supporting the history of back-strap loom weaving in Mexico and giving women an opportunity to earn a fair wage from their work. You provide sustenance and continuity. You provide hope and courage. You provide value and meaning.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time for our shop to open here at https://oaxacaculture.com