Arrive on Saturday, January 18 and depart on Monday, January 27, 2020 — 9 nights, 10 days in textile heaven!
Trip is limited to 11 participants. 7 spaces open.
Cost is $2,795 per person shared room or $3,295 per person for private room. See details and itinerary below.
This entire study tour is focused on exploring the textiles of Oaxaca’s Costa Chica. You arrive to and leave from Puerto Escondido, connecting through Mexico City or Oaxaca.
We go deep, and not wide. We give you an intimate, connecting experience. We spend time to know the culture. You will meet artisans in their homes and workshops, enjoy local cuisine, dip your hands in an indigo dye-bath, and travel to remote villages you may not go to on your own. This study tour focuses on revival of ancient textile techniques and Oaxaca’s vast weaving culture that encompasses the use of natural dyes, back-strap loom weaving, drop spindle hand spinning, and glorious, pre-Hispanic native cotton.
Villages along the coast and neighboring mountains were able to preserve their traditional weaving culture because of their isolation. Stunning cotton is spun and woven into lengths of cloth connected with intricate needlework to form amazing garments.
We have invited a noted cultural anthropologist to travel with us. She has worked in the region for the past fifteen years and knows the textile culture and people intimately. We learn about and discuss motifs, lifestyle, endangered species, quality and value of direct support.
What we do:
- We visit 7 weaving villages
- We meet back-strap loom weavers, natural dyers, spinners
- We see, touch, smell native Oaxaca cotton — brown, green, natural
- We participate in a sea turtle release
- We swim in a rare bioluminescence lagoon
- We visit four local markets to experience daily life
- We travel to remote regions to discover amazing cloth
- We support indigenous artisans directly
- We attend Dreamweavers annual sale at Hotel Santa Fe
- We escape WINTER in El Norte
Take this study tour to learn about:
- the culture, history and identity of cloth
- beating and spinning cotton, and weaving with natural dyes
- native seed preservation and cultivation
- clothing design and construction, fashion adaptations
- symbols and meaning of regional textile designs
- choice of colors and fibers that show each woman’s aesthetic while keeping with a particular village traje or costume
- the work of women in pre-Hispanic Mexico and today
2020 Itinerary — Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour
- Saturday, January 18: Fly to Puerto Escondido—overnight in Puerto Escondido, Group Welcome Dinner at 7 p.m. (D)
- Sunday, January 19: Puerto Escondido market meander, lunch and afternoon on your own. Late afternoon departure for turtle release and Manialtepec bioluminescence lagoon. (B)
- Monday, January 20: Depart after breakfast for Tututepec to visit a young weaver who is reviving his village’s textile traditions, visit local museum and murals — overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Tuesday, January 21: After breakfast, we go on to the weaving village of San Juan Colorado to visit two women’s cooperatives working in natural dyes, hand-spinning, and back strap loom weaving. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Wednesday, January 22: After breakfast, we return to the mountain with a first stop at the Pinotepa de Don Luis market. Then, we visit the Converse shoe project where talented artists hand-paint footwear, carve gourds and make amazing graphic art prints. We have lunch with Dreamweavers cooperative members and caracol purpura purple snail dyers in their home, complete with show and sale, and cultural talk. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. (B, L)
- Thursday, January 23: After breakfast, we travel up the coast highway into the state of Guerrero, where we visit two outstanding Amusgo weaving cooperatives in Xochistlahuaca and Zacoalpan. They are working to revive ancient designs and incorporate locally grown native, wild cotton. Overnight in Ometepec. (B, L)
- Friday, January 25: After breakfast, we begin our journey back to Puerto Escondido, with a stop at the Afro-Mexican Museum to understand Mexico’s black history. We stop in Jamiltepec to meet back-strap loom weavers and embroiderers. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B, L)
- Saturday, January 25: This is a day on your own to explore the area, return to the Puerto Escondido market, take a rest from the road trip, enjoy the beach and pools, and begin packing for your trip home. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B)
- Sunday, January 26: Attend the annual Dreamweavers Expoventa featuring the Tixinda Weaving Cooperative from Pinotepa de Don Luis. Other regional artisans are also invited, making this a grand finale folk art extravaganza — a fitting ending to our time together on Oaxaca’s coast. Grand Finale Dinner. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. (B, D)
- Monday, January 27: Depart for home.
Note: You can add days on to the tour — arrive early or stay later — at your own expense.
What is Included
- 9 nights lodging at top-rated accommodations
- 9 breakfasts
- 5 lunches
- 2 dinners
- museum entry fees
- turtle release and Manialtepec lagoon excursion
- van transportation as outlined in itinerary
- complete guide services including cultural anthropologist expertise
The workshop does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and optional local transportation as specified in the itinerary. It does not include taxi or shuttle service to/from airport to/from hotel.
We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.
Cost to Participate
- $2,795 double room with private bath (sleeps 2)
- $3,295 for a single supplement (private room and bath, sleeps 1)
Some Vocabulary and Terms
Who Should Attend
- Explorers of indigenous cloth, native fibers
- Collectors, curators and cultural appreciators
- Textile and fashion designers
- Weavers, embroiderers and collectors
- Photographers and artists who want inspiration
- Anyone who loves cloth, culture and collaboration
Full Registration Policies, Procedures and Cancellations– Please READ
Reservations and Cancellations. A 40% deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 30% of the total is due on or before October 1, 2019. The third 30% payment is due on or before December 1, 2019. We accept payment using online e-commerce only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After December 1, 2019, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before December 1, 2019, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date. After that, there are no refunds.
We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After December 1, 2019, there are no refunds.
Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health insurance that includes $50,000+ of emergency medical evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least 45 days before departure.
In addition, we will send you by email a PDF of a witnessed waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We ask that you return this to us by email 45 days before departure. Unforeseen circumstances happen! Be certain your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico!
Plane Tickets, Arrivals/Departures: Please send us your plane schedule at least 45 days before the trip. This includes name of carrier, flight numbers, arrival and departure time to our destination.
All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.
Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy: We will do some walking and getting in/out of vans. If you have mobility issues or health/breathing impediments, please let us know before you register. This may not be the study tour for you.
Well-Being: If you have mobility issues or health impediments, please let us know. Our travel to remote villages will be by van on secondary roads with curves, usually not for more than an hour or so. When you tell us you are ready to register, we will send you a health questionnaire to complete. If you have walking or car dizziness issues, this may not be the trip for you.
Traveling with a small group has its advantages and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include free time to go off on your own if you wish.
Note: Itinerary subject to schedule change and modification.
Puebla Textiles at the Arts Cooperative “Siuamej”
So far, I have discovered only one shop in Puebla city that sells high quality indigenous, handwoven textiles. Siuamej is a cooperative representing over 16 groups of women who work in local crafts from the various municipalities of the state of Puebla. The sales help contribute to the well-being of more than 600 indigenous women scattered throughout the mountainous region of Puebla beyond this major city.
Most of the pieces are wool and woven on back-strap looms. They are hand-embroidered with intricate designs of birds, flowers and geometric shapes and patterns. The remote mountain villages are cold in winter and wool is a necessity. Few pieces are reformatted for the “tourist” market, and as a consequence can be considered “traditional.”
Puebla weaving and embroidery style
Contemporary pieces are not likely to be woven with cloth colored with natural dyes. The piece below is an antique and made of wool colored with natural dyes. It is a riot of primary color and intricately embroidered. The price was 5,000 pesos — a bit too rich for my pocketbook! But hopefully, someone who knows its value will have snarfed it up by now.
Antique Rebozo Colored with Natural Dyes
The detailing is exquisite. Cats, butterlies, eagles, dogs, turkeys, rabbits, birds, all adorn this marvelous piece.
This and the pieces below are typical of the Hueyapan region. Siuamej represents the crafts of Chachahuantla, Chigmecatitlan, Cholula, Cuetzalan, Huatlatlauca, Mezontla, Pahuatlan, Yaonahua, and Zacatlan, in addition to the capital city. Each area has a distinctive design style.
Puebla, an abundance of textile creativity
I bought a lovely, backstrap loom woven natural cotton (off white) quechquemetl (an over the head sewn-together scarf-like shawl) make in Cuetzalan, a town I have heard of but never visited. I was tempted to go home with more, but I knew my two pieces of luggage were already close to maximum weight. Even a few ounces more might have tipped me over and I was already planning on wearing two outfits on the plane ride home.
Puebla textile detail
Here, you can see the traditional handwork along with the hand-tied fringes. It’s quite lovely. Most pieces are priced in the $40-$100 USD range.
For a complete visual compendium of Puebla textiles, see www.mexicantextiles.com and search for the word “Hueyapan” which is the region where these pieces are made.
To find the shop Siuamej, walk from the Zocalo on Av. Juan de Palafox y Mendoza toward the antiques and talavera district. The shop is a couple of blocks from the Zocalo on your left. The address is Av. Juan de Palafox y Mendoza #206 Centro Historico, Tel. (222) 2 32 36 94
The Centro Historico, Puebla
Comments Off on Puebla Textiles at the Arts Cooperative “Siuamej”
Posted in Clothing Design, Cultural Commentary, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged Cuetzalan, Huatlatlauca, Hueyapan, Mexico textiles, Puebla, Puebla women's craft cooperative