I'm raising $6,000 to benefit Mexican Dreamweavers, a reverse migration project of La Abogada Del Pueblo, Inc, and all donations are tax deductible and will help the Mixtec weavers and dyers of Pinotepa de Don Luis Oaxaca get to the world's largest and most prestigious International Folk Art Market (IFAM)in Santa Fe NM July 12-14, 2019. www.facebook.com/mexicandreamweavers
In the community of Pinotepa de Don Luis, situated on the Costa Chica of Oaxaca, artisans of Mixtec origin, masters in the art of weaving on back-strap looms, weave beautiful cloth that they use in different types of dress. There is the posohuanco which is a type of skirt of pre-hispanic origin; the huipil, a tunic dress used for special occasions; and the rebozo, a shawl used by the women both for warmth and to carry their babies!
The women weavers of this community have formed a cooperative called “Tixinda” which has over 60 women, both young and old, who are passing down the 3,000+ year old tradition of spinning and weaving from one generation to the next. In addition to producing their traditional dress, Tixinda also produces table linens, bed linens, throw pillows and bags, using both traditional and contemporary designs.
The men of this town struggle to preserve a pre-hispanic practice of dyeing hand spun cotton with the ancient purple dye tixinda which is milked from the nearly extinct purpura pansa mollusk, which lives in a few sacred bays along the coast of Oaxaca. Illegal poaching has nearly decimated these snails. Only 15 Mixtec men are left on Earth who still practice this ancient dyeing technique.
The weavers also dye their thread with cochinilla, a red dye derived from thousands of crushed female beetles which grow on the nopal cactus; and the blues and blacks of the native anil or indigo plant.
The women of Tixinda are some of the last weavers in Mexico who grown their own cotton, hand spin the cotton thread with a drop spindle called a malacate , dye it with natural dyes and then weave them on backstrap looms. Most Mexican weavers buy their thread. Both natural white cotton and the rare, brown and green coyuchi cotton are grown in this town and are spun into thread and painstakingly woven on back-strap looms by the women of this community. It takes about two weeks of preparation and spinning to produce 1 kilo of cotton thread, and approximately 3 months and 400 hours to weave a traditional huipil using 4 kilos of thread, which is why their textiles are prized by museums and collectors!
The Mixtec women of Tixinda are proud to offer their weavings to world. To that end, we have been chosen from hundreds of artists around the world, to sell at the prestigious --International Folk Art Market (IFAM)
in Santa Fe NM July 12-14, 2019! (www.folkartemarket.org
) We sold at IFAM in 2017 and did very well and received a grant as first time artisans to cover most of our costs. However, this year, to get there, we need to raise our own funds for our transportation and living expenses. We also are seeking funds to establish a micro-credit thread fund
so the women can keep weaving. Finally, we are raising money to help save the endangered sea snail and purple dye "tixinda" which is the cultural patrimony of the Mixtec people.
Please help us get to IFAM this July! By supporting these Mixtec artisans, you can help them stay in their homes weaving and dyeing, instead of cleaning our homes and cutting our lawns.