All photos used on this site are courtesy of the Abarca Family Collection and the Latino Cultural Arts Center

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LATINO CULTURAL ARTS CENTER

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Huipils of Southern Mexico: The Patterns in Their Hands

 

Pictured  left, the blouse / huipil (wee-peel) comes from the Amuzgo indigenous group in the mountains of eastern Oaxaca / western Guerrero states of Mexico. In the town of Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, a co-operative was founded in 1969, La Flor de Xochistlahuaca. Their community house is a large open-air adobe building where the women weave their backstrap loom woven blouses and long tunics covered in colorful brocade designs. These are woven in a fine gauze, loose weave to provide comfort in this hot, humid climate. For the finest pieces, a weaver can take up to 6 months to complete the huipil.

 

Most of the designs are based on the flora and fauna of the area. These include petate mat patterns, fretwork, suns, stars, mountains, rivers, dogs, horses, donkeys, turtles, water bugs, birds, and various flowers. An “S” pattern represents the feminine and indirectly, the earth. Another common motif is the double headed eagle, which is based on a number of myths of the region.

 

 

 

 

The Mixe village of San Juan Cotzocon is located in the mountains of the eastern part of Oaxaca. Nowadays hardly anyone wears this handwoven traditional huipil except a handful of elderly matrons. Once the road was built 30 years ago, everything changed. They were now connected to the outside world and goods were hauled in, including manufactured clothing. The new store-bought clothing was lighter and easier to wash. The traditional huipil is woven on a backstrap loom in white with red designs, but you can find many beautiful Cotzocon huipiles in other color combinations in local markets across Oaxaca.

 

 

 

The great work of these women you can find at the Hijos del Sol shop located at 2715 W. 8th Avenue. We operate through special events and by appointment. Shop Friday May 10, from 4-7pm and May 11, from 11am-4pm. 

 

 

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