Tag Archives: textiles

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Sale for Oaxaca Coast Textile Artisans

Most of us have made the difficult choice to NOT travel to Oaxaca at least until the pandemic is under control and a vaccine is readily available. I have heard from many people asking what we can do, absent of travel, to support indigenous artisans who have been VERY hard hit by the tourist economy free-fall. Bottom line: People are suffering and we can help directly by purchasing something beautiful they have made.

We are getting a jump on Black Friday by making this opportunity available to you today!

Happy Thanksgiving — Special Dreamweavers Sale for You — 10% Discount. Sale starts TODAY

That’s why I invited Patrice Perillie, founder of Dreamweavers /Tixinda Textiles from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, to write a guest blog. Together, we are offering a select group of hand-woven, naturally-dyed textiles for sale at 10% off.

Patrice says: Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to re-think how we shop and who we support.  Please consider giving a gift that will sustain indigenous weavers while delighting your loved ones! If indigenous artisans are going to survive this pandemic they need your help. 

How to Buy and Get 10% Discount:

  1. Go to Mexican Dreamweavers Facebook Page and find the textiles for sale.
  2. Choose which piece(s) you wish to purchase. Please fully describe.
  3. You tell Patrice which piece you want and that you were referred by Oaxaca Cultural Navigator: Norma Schafer
  4. When you say we referred you, you will receive a 10% discount on your purchase. You will NOT receive the discount unless you say we referred you.
  5. You send Patrice your name, address, zip code, telephone number, item(s) description and cost
  6. Patrice will send you an invoice and add on the cost of shipping to the USA from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca (estimated at about $65, depending on weight — note: higher shipping costs to Canada)
  7. You will receive your purchase in about 7-10 days via either FedEx or Estafeta

Email for Patrice Perillie

You might ask: What is tixinda? This is the rare purple dye that is extracted from the caracol purpura sea snail. Tixinda is what the snail is called in the Mixtec language.

Below are some examples of what is available to purchase:

$400 USD. Indigo, rare purple tixinda and white cotton.
42″ long x 28″ wide

What Patrice Perillie, Immigrant Rights Attorney, Says …

I write to you from beautiful Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, where I have called home for the past 32 years. Here we all try to keep ourselves COVID-safe by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitizing, and not depending on government restrictions which are in earnest but rarely enforced. It has been a difficult time especially for the indigenous artisans of our world.

For the past 12 years, it has been my privilege to work with Tixinda, a cooperative of Mixtec women weavers from Pinotepa de Don Luis. We don’t see each other much now and we have had to adapt to the new COVID world.  Many of the events we sell at have been canceled, including the prestigious International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Our all-volunteer, non-profit organization Mexican Dreamweavers*, has also been forced to cancel what would have been our 12th Annual Dreamweavers Exhibition and Sale, which normally takes place the fourth Sunday in January. Norma’s celebrated Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour to participate in this event is also canceled. We need to stay home to protect ourselves and our indigenous friends.

$200 USD. Use as shawl or table runner. Coyuchi and native cream colored cotton.

The Mixtec weavers of the Tixinda weaving cooperative are among the last of weavers in Mexico who grow their own cotton — white, green and native brown coyuchi. They spin it with the ancient drop spindle, color the fiber with natural dyes and weave it on back strap looms. An average of 400 hours of women’s work goes into each weaving!

Natural Colors from Local Plants and the Sea

Textiles feature the blues and blacks of indigo, red cochineal, and the sacred Mixtec purple dye tixinda that is extracted from a rare, nearly extinct sea snail. The color represents the divine feminine and fertility, a harvest is guided by the Moon!  Pinotepa de Don Luis is the last place on earth where only 15 men, most over the age of 60, risk their lives and brave powerful waves along Oaxaca’s rocky coastline to lovingly extract the purple tixinda dye without killing the snail.  

Wearables: Face-Masks, Huipiles, Shawls and More

Our beautiful, three-ply face masks make great stocking stuffers! A lovely shawl or table runner can dress up the holidays. Waist-length cropped blusas and longer huipiles add pizzazz to daily or special occasion wear. Even during the pandemic, we can create beauty in our lives by wearing something handmade.

$600 USD. Indigo, cochineal, coyuchi and rare purple tixinda. Woven by 48-year-old Lula. 30″ wide by 43″ long

As we celebrate the holidays in small bubbles of family and friends, we can express our love for Oaxaca by supporting her talented weavers. Our purchases give indigenous women the opportunity to stay in their villages and work from their homes, for themselves, instead of migrating without documentation to become cleaning and service industry help.

As an immigrant rights attorney, the reverse migration aspects of this work are what draws me to it, not to mention that I am an unabashed cross-cultural cross-dresser! Since the pandemic hit, I have received more and more requests to help indigenous artisans go to the US to make a living. Instead, let’s join together this Holiday Season and help them stay home and stay safe!

$300 USD. Woven on back-strap loom this tunic can be worn with pants or skirts. It has an indigo background and the Mixtec designs are in the rare purple tixinda dye and the brown coyuchi cotton. 100% cotton.

*Mexican Dreamweavers is a reverse migration project of La Abogada del Pueblo,Inc.,  a registered 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible!

To help ensure that these artisans and their textile traditions survive this pandemic, Dreamweavers has adapted to changing times and we invite you all to visit our

$700 USD. Hand-spun native brown coyuchi cotton with cochineal. 40″ wide x 47″ long

Coming This Week: Woven Rugs + French Knot Blouses

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the artisans whose work I have featured here. The dollars I have sent back to them in Oaxaca and Chiapas have helped sustain families through this health crisis — Covid-19 — when there is no tourism.

I also want to add that there is a benefit to my being here in Durham, NC, right now — shipping cost is bundled and covers sending multiple pieces from Mexico to the USA, making these pieces much more affordable. Usually, it is $60-80 USD to send one piece from Oaxaca to the states or Canada. So, while I am here, I will continue to work with cooperatives to bring their work to you. I would not be able to do this were I in Oaxaca!

Tomorrow, October 19, I will feature five (5) rugs from the Taller Teñido a Mano workshop in Oaxaca.

Shop will open Monday, October 19, 1 PM Eastern Time

Elsa Sanchez, proprietor of Taller Tenido a Mano, dyes the wool yarn with natural plant materials and cochineal. Colors include cochineal, indigo, wild marigold, wood barks and nuts. These sturdy rugs are woven by my godson and Elsa’s husband, Eric Chavez. Cost will range from $195 to $295 plus mailing.

Here is one rug example:

2-1/2 ft. by 3 ft. — 100% wool, handwoven. Machine wash gentle. Hang to dry.

At the end of the week, I will offer handmade blouses from Aguacatenango, Chiapas, by Francisca. She works in embroidery using exquisite French knots. The bodice is so dense with embroidery you cannot see the base fabric, which is 100% cotton manta. This time, we will have more long sleeve pieces and more that are sized Large and Extra-Large. They will sell for $120 plus mailing.

Here is an example:

Machine wash gentle, cold water. Use mild soap. Hang to dry.

Wrap Yourself in the Warmth of Mexico!

Dreaming of returning to Mexico or a winter away from cold, ice and snow? It may not happen for many of us this year. The next best thing, I think, is to wrap yourself in the warmth of Mexico. It’s mid-October and not too soon to think about how to stay comfy, cozy and dreaming of traveling again. I’m offering a selection from my personal collection, new and never worn.

Many of these 23 pieces are soft, comfortable wool. Some are heavier cotton pieces. 99% are woven on the back-strap loom. I purchased these directly from weavers, all who needed support at the time. They are from my travels throughout Oaxaca and Chiapas. A piece or two are from more distant places in Mexico. All are unique, one-of-a-kind and priced to sell quickly.

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #1. Pom Pom Cape. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Wool. 20″ long. 26″ wide. $65
#2 Poncho. Oxchuc, Chiapas. Cotton. 32×30. $95

97% of these items are made on the back-strap loom by women in small, indigenous villages throughout Mexico.

SOLD. #3. Quechquemitl. Chiapas. Cotton/polyester. Glittery. 36×32. $55
SOLD. #4. Quechquemitl. Chiapas. Wool. 36×30. New lower price $25 (not $45)
SOLD. #5. Throw/shawl. Chiapas. Wool. 25×52. $95
#5 Detail
SOLD. #6. Winter White Wool Throw/Shawl. Chiapas. 26×60. $85
SOLD. #7. Fun Chiapas Shawl/Throw. Wool, poly. 21×60. $85

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

#8 Tenancingo Ikat Rebozo/Shawl. Cotton. 29×72. $145

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #9. Jolom Mayatik Cooperative, Chiapas. Cotton. 27×86. $65
SOLD. #10. Indigo Rebozo by Roman Gutierrez, Teotitlan del Valle. Cotton. 22×78. $145
SOLD. #11. Jolom Mayatik Chiapas. Cotton. Throw/Scarf/Table Cover. 28×76. New lower price $60 (not $75)
#11 Detail.

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #12. Tenejapa, Chiapas, Rare Huipil. Wool + Cotton. 30×30. $395

Let’s talk about #12. Tenejapa is a Chiapas village on a mountain road about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de las Casas. This is a traditional huipil that is rarely seen now — a collector’s piece, for sure. The design, executed in naturally dyed wool from local plant materials, is unique to this village and woven on a back-strap loom. It is from the cooperative of Maria Meza Giron. It is under-valued!

SOLD. #13. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Wool. Shawl/throw. 38×56. New lower price, $45 (not $65)
SOLD. #14. Quechquemitl/poncho. Chiapas. Wool. Indigo stitches. 26×28. New lower price. $25 (not $45)
#15. Cotton infinity scarf/cowl. New, lower price, $65. (Not $95)

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #16. Chiapas bag. Wild Marigold dyes. Wool, cotton lined. 10-1/2×14. $25
SOLD. #17. Wool Chiapas bag. Indigo. Cotton lined. 10-1/2×14. $25
SOLD. #18. San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas Gala Huipil. 32×34. $495

About #18 — San Andres Larrainzar Huipil. The gala huipil takes up to a year to weave and is worn only during fiestas and special occasions. This one is extraordinary. The designs are achieved on the back-strap loom. This is not embroidered but densely woven — called bordado. A perfect winter garment to add color and cheer — accessorize over leggings and a silk T-shirt.

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#19. San Felipe Usila Huipil. Cotton. 27×41. $395

#19. I bought this piece in the pueblo from one of the finest weavers there. It is a traditional Chinantla region pattern that features the double-headed eagle, symbol of life-giving force. It is a six-panel piece with beautiful joinery using a needle-stitch that sews the wefts of cloth together. The finish work is amazing. Very graphic. This town is 12 hours from Oaxaca city and accessible by winding dirt road.

SOLD. #20. Oxchuc, Chiapas. Cotton. 36×27. $75

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #21. Amantenango, Chiapas. Embroidered blouse. Polyester/cotton. 29×27. $45
#22. Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca. Natural dyes. 28×48. $295
#23. San Pedro Amusgo, Oaxaca. Indigo, coyuchi. 26×28, $295

About #23. I bought this during one of our trips to the Oaxaca coast to support Arte de Amusgo cooperative founded by Odilon Merino Morales who is a featured artist at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. It is new and never worn.

Thank you for all your support and consideration!

Shop Open: Textiles — Amusgos of Xochistlahuaca

The Amusgo people live in the remote southwestern region of Guerrero and northwestern area of Oaxaca known as the Costa Chica. They have been there for generations, long before there were state borders that separated them. In Xochistlahuaca (so-chees-lah-wahkah), and throughout the Amusgo region, the women are noted for their extraordinary back-strap loom weaving.

Refresh your browser to update what’s sold.

SOLD. #1, Violeta. 21×26. $145

I am trying to help out cooperatives I know during these Covid times when there are no tourists and little opportunity for women to sell their beautiful work. We visited this cooperative on our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour.

Today, there are 18 garments total. Some use locally grown native cotton: green (verde), white (blanco) and coyuchi (honey colored) grown on small plots that are farmed by both women and men. 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.

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #2, Eutimia. 26×30. Gauze Huipil. $220

#2 is a finely woven gauze huipil, shorter than the full-length version and perfect to wear over a skirt or slacks.

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

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 the Amusgo language: Plain of Flowers.

SOLD. #3, Maximinia, 29×29. Native Cotton: Green, Coyuchi + White. $265

#3 combines all three native cotton colors and is woven in the traditional Guerrero Amusgo style — three densely woven designs on the bodice (compared with the Oaxaca version that incorporates two woven designs).

SOLD. #4 Cooperativa. Native Coyuchi + White Cotton, 35-1/2×52, $750

#4 is a full-length huipil, rare for it’s beauty and for its exclusive use of coyuchi cotton yarn, that is hand-beaten to soften it, then hand-spun on the malacate (drop spindle), before it is woven on the back-strap loom. This is an unusual pattern that I have never seen before. Definitely a collector’s piece.

SOLD. #5, Adela Santiago Evangelista. 22-1/2×28. $120

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#6 Cooperativa, Native Green, Coyuchi + White Cotton Huipil, 30×46, $750

#6 is another collector’s piece that is an extraordinary combination of all three native cottons, all locally grown and hand-spun.

SOLD. #7 Divina de Jesus. 29×42. Rare White-on-White Huipil. $295

#7 is a fine gauze woven white-on-white huipil that is unusual in that it is now very difficult to find a garment of this quality in the colorway.

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#7 Detail, White on White Gauze Huipil
SOLD. #8, Margarita. 22×29. $85
#9, Marcela. 31×43. Coyuchi, wild native cotton. $485

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

#10, Cooperative. 31×50. Gala Huipil. $675

#10 is a traditional special occasion huipil used in the village for festival days. The randa (needlework joinery) is complex and detailed, making this a very special piece.

#10 Detail. Intricate embroidery
SOLD. #11, Maximinia. 17-1/2×23. Natural Dyes. $75
SOLD. #12, Margarita. 23×28. $120
SOLD. #13, Eutimia Salinas Lopez. 20-1/2×26-1/2, $85

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

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

SOLD. #14, Maximina. 31×45. Natural Dyes: Zapote Negro, Native White Cotton. $485
SOLD. #15, Divinia de Jesus. 23×28. $120
SOLD. #17, Margarita. 23×26. $145

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 heat to iron if needed.

SOLD. #18, Eutimia. Scarf, 16wx76L, $145
#18 Detail

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

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

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

“We are a group of 25 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 continue to weave, fighting for life, defending and preserving 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 closer to you. 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.

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