Tag Archives: shopping

Southwest Road Trip: The Last Trading Posts

We wanted to call this The Trading Post Tour! We went to five.

In the mid-1800’s and well into the early 20th century, there were more than 300 trading posts dotting southwest United States of America tribal lands, mostly in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, where Native Peoples lived. Usually owned by Anglos, they were thriving centers for commerce and a robust social life. It was here that Native Americans picked up their mail, purchased Blue Bird flour for fry bread, sold their goods or pawned them for cash or to trade for food and supplies.

Trading posts were first established by trappers, who got furs and food. In trade, Native Americans received guns, ammunition, cloth, beads, metal cooking utensils. It began as a barter system. Mostly, they were on Diné-Navajo reservation, in rural areas with little access to goods. Sometimes the system meant that First Peoples had either a credit or debit at the trading post. Prices might be higher, but it was easy access close to home. Trading post owners were integrated into the community. Many married local women.

To visitors today, trading posts offered an off-the-beaten path adventure to meet artisans and to buy blankets, rugs, jewelry, pottery, baskets, and other handmade goods that were not redeemed. Pine nuts, too, were a valued commodity. Trading posts also took in saddles, rifles, boots and spurs, plus farm and ranch equipment. The trading post also offered a market to the world beyond the local, sending goods off to Denver, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Dallas and Houston, for example, where those who appreciated Native American made pieces could have access.

Today only about a dozen trading posts remain. They have closed down, Les Wilson, owner of Two Gray Hills Trading Post told me, because people now shop at Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, or Costco. With the car, shopping in the larger towns is more accessible and less expensive. In addition, tribal groups, now better organized, emphasize the importance of buying from and supporting Native owned businesses. Most trading posts are, and continue to be operated by Anglos.

Before we left on the Southwest Road Trip, I researched the trading posts that we might find along our routes. We also just encountered some along the way, using online searches to see if there were any in the general neighborhoods we would be traveling through.

Our first find was Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona, established in 1878. We stopped here on the way from Zuni Pueblo to Hopi Pueblo, after spending the night in Gallup, NM. Operated by the National Park Service and designated a National Historic Site, the trading post is much like it was at the turn of the 20th century. The old wood floors creak as you walk through the general store section into the two back rooms filled with handwoven Navajo rugs, katsina dolls, baskets and a treasure trove of jewelry, some of it vintage.

On the route between Monument Valley and Mesa Verde where Highway 160 and US 64 meet is Teec Nos Pos Trading Post, established in 1905. It’s pronounced Tease Nas Pas (NOT Teak Nose Pose). We almost passed it and did a quick U-Turn into the parking lot to explore. The general store stocks Blue Bird flour, canned goods, cereals, dried corn, blue and yellow corn meal, fresh meat, and a dairy-refrigerator case. You can also buy super glue, batteries, and automotive oil. You get the picture. There are two side rooms adjacent to the general store. The first holds glass cases of new and vintage silver and turquoise jewelry.

The second room is locked and behind the check-out counter. This is the rug room, almost like a vault, featuring fine weavings and a few really high end vintage pieces of jewelry. These rugs feature the designs of the local region, colorful and geometric, plus others from Ganado, Two Grey Hills, Klagetoh, and Burntwater. Click this link for a History of Navajo Rug Weaving. We were too buy shopping to take photos!

Once we got to Mesa Verde, we were tempted to continue to follow the trading post trail to Bluff, Utah, where we would find Twin Rocks Trading Post and Cow Canyon Trading Post, both said to be the real deal. In Durango, Colorado, there is Toh-Atin Trading Post, said to be superb. We just didn’t have time to detour to explore more.

When we got to Canyon de Chelly, we stayed at the Navajo owned Thunderbird Hotel, where the restaurant caters to a local crowd. One night at dinner there, I serendipitously struck up a conversation with Anthony Tallboy, whose turquoise necklace I admired. He told me he was a blue ribbon award winner for his weavings at the Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial, and added Toh-Atin Trading Post carries his work. That’s where he and his family go to buy their jewelry because the selection and prices are best. Yes, there is a trading post at the Thunderbird Hotel!

Our last stop was to Toadlena Trading Post. We circled back on our way to Chaco Canyon since we were in the vicinity. It was closed when we went there on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Twelve miles from the highway, it’s worth a visit. The store manager is a local Navajo woman. The owners live near Taos. They have a huge selection of rugs, a good selection of new and vintage jewelry, and the shelves are stocked with staples for those who do not have the means to travel the distances to Gallup or Window Rock for shopping.

There is a similarity between the Teotitlan del Valle rugs I am most familiar with and those from Navajo weavers — they both use churro sheep brought to the Americas by the Spanish. The Navajo use the vertical loom, and traditionally women are the weavers. In Teotitlan del Valle, the Spanish taught the Zapotec men to weave on the two-pedal floor loom, also called a tapestry loom, imported at the start of the conquest. I have read that the Navajo learned to weave when they were in exile and hidden by the pueblos along the Rio Grande valley during their expulsion and the Long Walk. Navajo mythology tells us that Spider Woman taught them to weave as part of their creation story. Spider Rock at Canyon de Chelly honors this oral tradition.

The same carding paddles are used to clean and soften the wool. The drop spindle is used to make the fine warp and weft threads. The Navajos use a wool warp whereas the Zapotecs use a cotton warp. The binding off of the rug is different in both cultures, too. What I noticed is that there are about 12-15 warp threads per inch on the Navajo textile. A standard Zapotec rug for floor use has about six warp threads per inch and the weft yarns are much thicker, making for a sturdier piece to walk on.

How to identify a Navajo rug? Read what Weaving in Beauty has to say!

I bought two small rugs, one from Two Grey Hills Trading Post and one from Teec Nos Pos Trading Post, each representing a different regional style. I won’t use them on the floor!

I want to add that Perry Null Trading Post in Gallup, NM, is a mind-blowing experience. They do a robust business and have many satisfied Native American clients who both buy and sell there. The pawn business is still in operation. The selection is beyond imaginable. We hear from one of our favorite traders, Zuni native Holly Coonsis from Bahti Indian Arts in Santa Fe, that Perry Null is reputable and honest. We have known Bahti for almost thirty year, first discovering them in Tucson, their original gallery, when our parents lived there. It is our first choice because their prices are fair and their quality is the best.

I also want to mention that we believe the best artisans are sending their work to galleries and it is difficult to find highest quality pieces at the pueblos unless you know an artisan in particular and make an appointment in advance to visit her or him.

I’m leaving for Oaxaca on Monday. This is the last post for the Southwest Road Trip.

Next up: Oaxaca Cultural Navigator collaborates with Oaxaca Learning Center to establish a named scholarship! We are excited about this opportunity to support a student dedicated to attending university.

Travel Tips: How to Safely Pack Mezcal, Pottery for the Trip Home

It’s been some years since I wrote about how I pack mezcal bottles, pottery and other fragile artisan crafts to take back to the USA after my stay in Oaxaca. For the most part, I can claim 99.5% success that all will arrive undamaged. Only once, did a plate arrive broken! Basically, what I do is consider my largest piece of luggage to be a shipping container. You CANNOT carry-on mezcal bottles. They have to be transported in checked bags!

Over the years, I have carried three to four bottles of mezcal back to the US with each return visit. I declare three bottles. Each customs officer will be different and may or may not ask you if you are bringing any liquor with you. I always offer that I’m bringing back three bottles, even if they don’t ask specifically. My packing success has included Uriarte Talavera dinnerware from Puebla, ceramic face planters by Don Jose Garcia Antonio from Ocotlan, black pottery from San Bartolo Coyotepec, carved wood and painted figures (alebrijes) from Jacobo and Maria Angeles. Of course, I don’t worry about textiles or palm baskets.

How To SAFELY Pack Mezcal and Pottery, and other Fragile Crafts:

  • Bring or find bubble wrap and packing tape. Bubble wrap is called burbuja de plastico or plastic bubbles! You can buy this at any DHL, FedEx or UPS shop in downtown Oaxaca. Office Depot, Walmart, and Soriana also stock this. There is a comprehensive shipping supplies store at the corner of Independencia and Pino Suarez.
  • Buy at least TWO reed-woven, rigid waste baskets from any mercado. I prefer those with straight sides. These are carrizo (river reed) woven when green in the village of San Juan Guelavia. You can easily find these at the Sunday Tlacolula market, and in and around the Benito Juarez market, or the Sanchez Pascuas or La Merced markets in downtown Oaxaca. Next, find a woven flat tray that fits the opening diameter of the wastebasket. This will serve as your cover. I can fit three mezcal bottles in one of these wastebaskets. The other, I pack with pottery.
  • Of course, each bottle and fragile item must be encased in bubble wrap! When an item has arms, legs, necks, tails, remove what you can and wrap separately. Be sure to fill in any gaps/open spaces with crumbled newspaper or tissue. For the mezcal bottle necks, I wrap this several times to be certain it is the same thickness as the bottle body.
  • Using a permanent market, write what’s inside on the packing tape in case you forget!
  • Fit your bottles into the basket. If there are any gaps, stuff them with socks, underwear, clothing. Put the top on. Tape the top to the basket, wrapping the tape around several times so it is secure. Nothing inside the basket can move. The fit has to be tight! I also keep on hand, empty water bottles and paper boxes. I crush the bottles and cut the boxes, put them inside the basket to ensure a tight fit.
  • Position the basket(s) inside your luggage and surround it with clothes, shoes, chocolate, coffee, and other unbreakables. Everything must be a tight fit. Nothing can move or you risk breakage.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to unwrap the packages after you get home. Fragile is as fragile does.

Note: It’s cheaper to pay for an extra piece of luggage to go on the airplane than it is to send a package via DHL, FedEx or UPS. NEVER use Estafeta, Castores, or other Mexican shippers. Boxes are inspected (more like, dismantled) at the border for customs purposes resulting in loss and broken pieces. Mostly because they unwrap everything to inspect and don’t repack well. I’ve had this experience and won’t repeat it.

There you have it.

I’m returning to the USA from Oaxaca in a few days. Before I get to Taos, I’m traveling first to Nashville to visit my goddaughter Kathryn, who just moved there from Durham to take a job at Vanderbilt. I’m excited to see her. Then, in early April, back to Albuquerque to visit with hijo and nuera for a few days before returning to Northern New Mexico. Along the way, I won’t touch what is inside the shipping container aka large piece of luggage. Everything I need to get to will be in the second, smaller bag.

Happy to answer any questions you have! Write me here.

When you get home and unload, these baskets are useful for containing yarn, thread, knitting, weaving, and sewing supplies; pantry storage for potatoes and onions; wastebaskets; holding hand weights; linen closet storage for wash cloths, sundries and toiletries. Plus, they are made from natural materials, so can be completely recycled.

Bargain Shopping and Cheap Eats in Oaxaca

Is it possible to find and buy high quality textiles in Oaxaca at bargain prices? That was my question yesterday as Chris and I returned to Oaxaca city for her last day here on this visit. She loves to shop at thrift stores and on sale. I do, too, but I’m always on a quest for top quality. I don’t know thrift or consignment shops in Oaxaca (except for one listed below) where one can purchase good, gently worn handwoven Oaxaca clothing. I have favorites in Taos and Santa Fe.

Chris wanted to go back to Lake Chapala with a couple of Oaxaca huipiles. So, I named this day of foraging: Low Brow Shopping (more based on pocketbook limitations than taste) and set about to show her a few favorite places where I know the quality is very good and the prices much more affordable than the collectors’ galleries I know about. Often, these are the places that cater to locals, too.

The quest: How can we find a beautiful huipil or blusa for under $100 USD?

As for eating, in my humble opinion, its definitely possible to eat well in small comedors and restaurants that are not on the Andador Macedonio Alcala or adjacent streets like Garcia Virgil, Cinco de Mayo and Reforma. This is the hub of the tourist center and prices are higher here because rents are higher. To find, good cheap eats, go to the auxiliary streets and neighborhoods that are several blocks away. I still rarely, if ever, eat at food stalls on the street, mostly because of sanitation issues.

Three Favorite Oaxaca Bargain Shopping Recommendations (can you recommend others?)

  • Hilo de Nube. These blusas and huipiles are handmade and embroidered in San Juan Guichicovi, a town in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The style is very distinctive to the region that offered a type of dress favored by Frida Kahlo. The Oaxaca shop is located at M. Bravo #214, Oaxaca Centro. Here, blouses start at $30 USD. They combine free-form, human-guided chain stitching embroidered by machine. Prices go up based on intricacy of design, and if the garment incorporates hand-embroidered stitching, too. Base cloth is high quality cotton, linen, or sateen. My friend Susie introduced this shop to me and I’m passing it along to you as a go-to spot for bargain-hunting fashionistas.
  • Shop with No Name! I can’t give you a link because there is none. This shop is located just the other side of the Zocalo at Bustamante #119 about mid-block on the left between Guerrero and Colon, near musical instruments and CD shops. It is operated by Lilia Gonzales Bolaños. Telephone: 52-951-169-5965. What makes this shop great is that if you know your textiles, you can find excellent designer pieces hidden on the racks between the lesser quality goods. Perfect for the huntress in you! Look for the whimsical smocked blouses from San Pablo Tijaltepec, gauzy and finely woven cloth from San Mateo del Mar, natural dyes from Pinotepa de Don Luis.
  • Artesanias Que Tenga Buena Mano. Operated by Francisco Hernandez, this little shop is found on Calle de Constituccion tucked into a step-down almost basement location next to Casa Oaxaca Restaurant. Textile offerings are limited but of excellent quality at fair prices. I even saw a piece woven by Teofila Palafox from San Mateo del Mar. Francisco also designs filigree jewelry and there is a good collection of pieces here, as well as funky folk art. Don’t blink or you might miss it.
  • La Selva de los Gatos. The Cat Jungle! An all-vegan cat cafe & pet adoption center located at the corner of Calle Abasolo and Calle de la Republica, features a boutique of gently-worn clothing (I guess this qualifies as a thrift shop) they sell to raise funds to spay, neuter and adopt out stray cats that have been rescued. The vegan cafe serves up reasonably priced fare — eat a play with the cats, too.

Get a Oaxaca Lunch for Under $10 USD

Ok, we are not going to regurgitate the top-level $$$$ dining spots operated by award-winning chefs that show up on every travel site — the ones like Conde Nast Traveler or Travel and Leisure or Food & Wine — that recommend Casa Oaxaca, Origen, Criollo, Los Danzantes, Restaurante Catedral, Levadura de la Olla. At these spots, you can easily spend $25-45 USD per person for lunch, which is fine if you are on a limitless budget or splurge vacation. Here, a mezcal cocktail can cost you $12 USD, too.

At the humble comedors, the food is simple although it can also be complex. Wash it down with a good Mexican beer — Victoria, Negro Modelo, Tecate or Sol — or select a fruit water such as Agua de Pepino con Limon (cucumber and lime), Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus), or Agua de Sandia (watermelon). Good to give your wallet a break from time to time.

  • Cabuche. This has been a long-time cheap eats favorite. Restaurant is owned by Rodrigo Fuentes Moreno who carved out his niche after leaving La Biznaga some years back. Pozole and tacos reign here. Lots of vegetarian options. You can get a big or small bowl of pozole, with white, red, or green stock, with vegetarian, chicken or pork options. The hominy is plump and delicious. My dish with pork was tender and easily chewed. Take your pick of taco fillings: huitlacoche, potatoes and chorizo, tinga de pollo, calabacitas, and more. Hidalgo #1017, in the block beyond the textile museum going away from the Zocalo.
  • Casa Taviche. Go another block further on the left to find this hidden gem that many of us find to be among the best comedors in the city. The Comida Corrida, the three-course fixed price lunch offered by many places, comes with appetizer, entree, dessert and a glass of fruit water for under $10 USD here. Order a la carte and it can be more. Hidalgo #1111.
  • Casa Bestia. I had a delicious brunch here a couple of weeks ago with Carol, Dean, Kay and Winn. It’s billed as an art gallery and co-working space, but it features a lovely outdoor dining area under some amazing shade trees. You can also find hand-made clothing in the gallery. They offer workshops and cooking classes, too. The kitchen serves up delicious gluten-free oatmeal pancakes and excellent lunch fare at moderate prices. Very relaxing. Located in the Conzatti Park neighborhood of Oaxaca. Gomez Farias #114.

Got recommendations for Cheap Eats and Bargain Shopping? Write us here!

What to look for when Bargain Shopping? Tips for discerning quality!

  1. What is the quality of the cloth? Is it 100% cotton or is it mixed with polyester?
  2. Do know for certain that the textile isn’t made in China? So much of what is sold on the street are Chinese knock-offs. Buyer beware!
  3. Turn the garment inside out. How are the seams finished? Will the threads unravel? Are the seams machine stitched or finished by hand? Are the stitches tight and even? A French seam with no exposed selvedge will hold up the longest.
  4. Are the threads naturally dyed or are these commercial threads? Are the dyes prone to bleeding or running (commercial or synthetic dyes will run if they haven’t been pre-washed)
  5. If the garment is back-strap loomed, are there any snags or imperfections? Do the patterns line up or are they mismatched?
  6. If there is embroidery, turn it inside out and look at the embroidered threads to discern whether they will hold up after several wearings.
  7. Can you wash this garment by hand and hang to dry or does it need to be dry-cleaned?
  8. Can the vendor tell you who made it and where it was made?
  9. Do you love it or are you buying it because of price?

Want to buy directly from the maker? Want access to Oaxaca state’s most important weavers who are renowned for their finest workmanship? Come with us on The Collector’s Tour!

Oaxaca City Textile Collector’s Tour

We’ve just added this new day tour to our menu of workshops and tours. It is designed to give textile collectors, retailers, wholesalers, fashionistas, and aficionados exclusive access! Different and more specialized than any of our other one-day textile experiences, we take you into the homes and studios of some of the finest weavers and cooperatives found in the State of Oaxaca. What makes this different?

Based on our vast experience working with weavers, we know who makes the absolute best garments! They are individuals and families who come from remote areas of Oaxaca: the coast, from the Mixtec, Triqui or Mixe regions. They represent their families here in the city, where they maintain a residence. Where they live and work are obscure, unknown, off the beaten path, up switchback roads high in the mountains beyond the Guelaguetza stadium, or in the foothills of new neighborhoods under the shadow of the Sierra Madre del Sur. Because we have personal relationships with them, they welcome us and whomever we bring to their homes to see their collections.

Because this tour is so personal, we limit it to FOUR people at a time.

Cost: $450 for one person. Add $200 per person for each additional person.

Itinerary: We pick you up in the historic center of Oaxaca at 9:00 a.m. in a comfortable four-wheel drive vehicle. We need this to pick our way up the switchback road up to the top of a mountain that overlooks the Oaxaca valley! We return you to the city around 5:30 p.m.

You meet the makers! All along the way, you will see demonstrations, discuss motifs and iconography, how the fabric and dyes are created, and learn about the cultural history of the cloth. A rare and insider experience.

Who we visit:

  • Nationally recognized back-strap loom weavers from San Mateo del Mar, where they create gauze clothing embellished with sea life, flora and fauna of their region, mostly 80/2 and 60/2 finest gauge cotton or silk. Three types of weaving are employed — 1) passed thread technique; 2) supplementary weft technique; and 3) double-faced technique. San Mateo is on the ocean on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, eight-hours from Oaxaca city.
  • Award-winning back-strap loom weavers from San Juan Cotzocon in the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca. You find symbols of serpents, flowers, mountains and whimsical animals in their work. Fine, intricate detail using the supplementary weft technique. High in the mountains, about half-way between Oaxaca city and Salina Cruz, were you to go there it would take five-hours on a curving mountain road. Then, would you know who to contact?
  • Outstanding pieces from a cooperative based in San Pedro Amuzgos in the Sierra Sur, that includes pieces made from hand-spun coyuchi and green cotton, indigo and cochineal dyed threads, and the rare caracol purpura. This cooperative also represents work from Xochistlahuaca and Zacoalpan, sister Amuzgo villages in Guerrero, plus Santiago Ixtayutla and Santa Maria Zacatepec — a mere 125 miles from Oaxaca, but a seven-hour road trip over winding mountain passes!
  • The exclusive bodega of a famous collector who explains how he works with artisans and supports them OR a young, innovative Triqui weaver who is working only in natural dyes using traditional motifs created on the back-strap loom.

Mid-way through the day, we make a lunch stop in the city at a cafe that serves delicious food featuring Oaxaca specialties. Lunch is at your own expense and not included in the cost of the tour.

Note: Because artisan schedules are variable, we reserve the right to adjust the itinerary without notice.

Your Oaxaca Cultural Navigator is Eric Chavez Santiago.

Eric Chavez Santiago is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexican textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth generation member of the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa are founders of Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. Eric is a business partner with Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, too. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. A graduate of Anahuac University, Eric founded the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department in 2007 and went on to become managing director of the folk art gallery Andares del Arte Popular, a post he held until late 2021. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture and community.

How to Register? Send us an email at least a week in advance of your visit. Give us a choice of dates you could be available. This is important because artisan schedules are irregular. We customize every appointment. We then send you a request for a 25% non-refundable deposit that can be paid using Zelle or Venmo after we confirm date availability. We will need your pick-up location, too.

Note: Some artisans only accept bank deposits using wire transfer. We recommend you install the App Remitly to make purchases. Others may accept credit cards. All accept MXN pesos in cash. (U.S. dollars require that artisans take funds to a money exchange, which charges them high commissions. We don’t recommend this form of payment.) Also of note: We highly discourage bargaining. Prices are fair and you are buying direct from the makers. It takes hours, days, weeks, months to make one garment.

Encore! San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, Textile Sale Notice

This will be the last sale from this cooperative for a while. Perhaps until Christmas. I’m not sure. In fact, no more sales until mid-October when I will have more blouses coming from Chiapas and a few more rugs from Oaxaca.

Shop Opens Friday, September 11, 12 Noon ET

The texture of hand weaving — from dense to gauzy!

Tomorrow, Friday, September 11, I will have 20+ pieces for sale from the Las Sanjuaneras cooperative in San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca. We sold out the prior two-shipments in one day. So, get this on your calendar!

This coming Tuesday, I’m taking a break from the blog, from masks, from textiles, but not from Covid-19! I’ll be driving to Ohio and Indiana to visit dear friends — playing it safe on the road with mask, face shield, gloves (for gas stations and toilets), and plenty of hand sanitizer and alcohol spray. I likely won’t be back online until sometime in October.

Kaftans or Huipiles???

Fashionistas are telling us that in this Covid-19 era, we are opting for comfortable, free-flowing clothing that we can wear casually — for social distancing get-togethers, working from home or for lounging around. Lounge-wear is in, they say.

Designers are calling this clothing kaftans or tunics. Most likely because this is a style/name most American women are familiar with. Many designers, like those working with indigenous groups in Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico, have appropriated centuries-old textile iconography, branded the pieces under their own label, and are calling what they are selling kaftans or tunics instead of huipiles. Sometimes the woven cloth is cut up and incorporated into a design, something the artisan-makers don’t agree with. The prices can be in the stratosphere. Quadruple what you may find here. We call this cultural appropriation — a human rights issue, I think.

What is a kaftan?

What is a huipil?

What is a tunic?

All natural dyes: beets, mahogany bark, indigo, wild marigold, natural native cotton

My goal is to support a few women artisan weavers who live in remote, inaccessible areas, and who do not have an on-line sales presence. My goal is to sell to people who appreciate the hand-work involved and the time to take a garment from thread to finished piece using the back-strap loom, which is time consuming. My goal is to send funds directly to the artisans so they get paid immediately. I pay them when something sells so your purchase has direct benefit. I pay for shipping in advance so they have no out-of-pocket expenses. So, artisans and I have upfront risk to bring these treasures to you.

We appreciate your generosity and trust!

Why and How Long?

I’m not certain how long I will continue to do this, or if I continue, how frequently I will bring the pieces to the USA. Mostly, it depends on when I return to Oaxaca. It will be more difficult to receive and mail them to you from there. I’m thinking of going back this winter, but this is just a loose confederation of thoughts for now.

One example of 20 pieces we will showcase on September 11

I do this because I can’t think of any better way to directly help the weaving cooperatives I know and who we visit during our textile tours. Since the tours have been suspended for the foreseeable future, I think this is one of the few ways to continuing to give indigenous women a livelihood and purpose. It also helps to keep me focused and purposeful during these times when it is easy to binge-watch a favorite TV show or movie, to bake and eat, to stay in bed longer than I should!

In crisis, there is re-invention, adaptation and evolution. This is what I’m telling myself these days!

Thanks always for your caring, love and support for Oaxaca, for Mexico and her artisans. Con abrazos fuertes,