In the spirit of my own continuing education, I went to the Apple Store last night for a tutorial about how to make an iMovie using my photographs. My computer is storing over 6,000 photos — many of which are published on this site. I learned the basics and am now experimenting, so hopefully, over the new few weeks, I’ll be able to translate still photography into a visually appealing presentation for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully, this works!
The video I created here features many fine examples of the hand-woven, naturally dyed tapestry weave textiles made by The Chavez Santiago Family Weavers in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. Federico Chavez Sosa, the head of the family, is a master weaver, as is his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas. They and their children, Eric, Janet and Omar Chavez Santiago are also shown in the video interspersed with village scenes. The music is by Susana Harp.
I hope you enjoy it!
What you’ll see in this video:
Zapotec and Mixtec stone carvings at the archeological site of Mitla
The Catholic church built with Zapotec temple stones
Weavings by the Chavez Santiago Family Weavers
Selected Saltillo-style weavings by Tito Mendoza Ruiz and Roman Gutierrez
Adaptations of traditional designs for more contemporary styles
Teotitlan del Valle Church of the Precious Blood, 16th Century
Parade of the Canastas (baskets) in early July
And, if you want to take a weaving class (all levels, from beginners to more experienced are welcome), please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
There she was, on the stage facing the zocalo, doing sound check with her orchestra at 5:45 p.m. The “real” concert wasn’t set to start until 8 p.m. We meandered over to the corner sidewalk cafe La Primavera to enjoy the music and a refreshment. Luckily for us, a table opened up immediately on the curb that we grabbed before anyone else could get there. This became our front row seat for the next four hours! as we paced our food and drink. Street life became our intermediate entertainment until the concert began.
A steady stream of textile vendors, small children selling candies and gum, a Cuban guitar player-singer belting out Chan Chan, an elegant woman poised with a basket balanced on her heads filled with bouquets of roses and gardenias, macho teen boys selling mini-wood motorcycles we conjecture are imported from China, a dazzling girl-woman who wraps a string of beads around my neck and smiles asking for 10 pesos. Who can resist?
After finishing two delicious Margaritas (me) and Negro Modelos (Stephen) and a bowl of spicy roasted peanuts, we decided to order appetizers and shared a plate of quesadillas stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, flor de calabasas, and sauteed mushrooms. The food at La Primavera is good and reasonably priced and they are very generous about not turning the tables quickly. Ha, after nearly five hours esconced there, we had spent about $26USD and had a great time.
Of course, what couldn’t be great with my favorite chanteuse Susana Harp right there in front on me on the stage in her native Oaxaca giving a free concert to thousands with an orchestra that is extraordinary. I got her latest album, which I’m listening to now as I write this, and stood in line (short by the time we said goodbye to all our new friends at surrounding tables) for her to sign. The album, with the Orquesta Sinfonica Del Instituto Politecnico Nacional, is called De Jolgorios Y Velorios. Magnifico!
We know the culture! We are locally owned and operated.
Eric Chavez Santiago is Zapotec, born and raised in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.
Norma Schafer has been living in Oaxaca for almost 20 years.
We have deep connections with artists and artisans.
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We give you a deep immersion to best know Oaxaca and Mexico.
Creating Connectionand 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 learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them, 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.
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When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture: How is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
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New--Ruta del Mezcal One-Day Tour.We start the day with pottery, visiting a master, then have lunch with a Traditional Oaxaca Cook who is the master of mole making. In Mitla, we meet with our favorite flying shuttle loom weaver, and then finish off with a mezcal tasting at a palenque you will NEVER find on your own! Schedule at your convenience!
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Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle