Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mandiles’

Yesterday, Mexico celebrated el Día del Artesano (Day of the Artisan).  Alas, I’m a day late in recognizing the men and women whose artistry in carrying on traditions and renewing and enriching them with their own creative spirit contributes to Oaxaca’s vibrant cultural life and economy.  However, the entire month of March has been designated “month of the artisan,” so here are several of the artesanas and artesanos who I have had the honor and joy of knowing and visiting over the past year.

IMG_3341

Emilia Gonzalez, wool spinning and dying in Teotitlán del Valle

IMG_2027

Juan Manuel García Esperanza, silver filigree, Ciudad de Oaxaca

IMG_3041

Carrizo basket maker from San Juan Guelavía

IMG_8447

Barro rojo (red clay) potters from San Marcos Tlapazola

IMG_3482

Mural painters in San Martín Tilcajete

IMG_1215

Weaver from Santo Tomás Jalieza

IMG_1980

Eligio Zárate, potter, Santa María Atzompa

IMG_4916

Jesús Sosa Calvo, wood carver and painter, San Martín Tilcaje

IMG_3112

Seamstress, embroiderer, crocheter, Sra. Gutiérrez from Teotitlán del Valle

IMG_3251

Don Luís, weaver, Ciudad de Oaxaca

A very special thank you to Don Luís, whose weaving studio shares a wall with my apartment and I have the pleasure of seeing and hearing most every day.  The rhythmic sounds of his loom are one of the songs on the soundtrack of my Oaxaca life.

Read Full Post »

Looking back and appreciating life in Oaxaca, 2018.

IMG_4678 WolfMoon & Pistachio_Jan

January – View through the terrace pistachio tree of full Wolf Moon.

IMG_3305_Feb

February – Guest helping to harvest Waje dinner at Rancho 314 urban farm in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán.

IMG_5975_Mar

March – Reyna Mendoza Ruiz demonstrating metate technique at El Sabor Zapoteco cooking class in Teotitlán del Valle.

IMG_6800_Apr

April – Pit for cooking agave piñas to make mezcal at the palenque of Faustino Garcia in San Baltazar Chichicapa(m).

IMG_7641_May

May – Tlacolulokos mural in Tlacolula de Matamoros.

IMG_7855_Jun

June – Summer afternoon on the Zócalo in Oaxaca city.

IMG_8430_Jul

July – Feria del Barro Rojo in San Marcos Tlapazola.

IMG_0019_Aug

August – Fundación En Via microfinance tour to San Miguel del Valle.

IMG_0478_Sep

September – Protest by students from the Escuela Normal Bilingüe e Intercultural de Oaxaca.

IMG_1042_Oct

October – Celebrating el Señor del Rayo at the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.

IMG_2044_Nov

November – At the home/workshop of filigree maestro, José Jorge García García.

IMG_4062_Dec

December – Pop-up sale in Oaxaca city by the Las Sanjuaneras weavers from San Juan Colorado.

Feliz año nuevo y muchisimas gracias to all my wonderful blog readers from near and far!  Thank you for reading, for commenting, for sharing, for the opportunity to meet some of you, and for inspiring me to continue.  Onward to 2019!!!

Read Full Post »

As I’ve mentioned before, the ubiquitous aprons (mandiles) worn by the Zapotec women of the valley of Oaxaca have been elevated to an art form.  Each village has developed their own unique style and none is more distinctive than those worn by the women of San Miguel del Valle.

IMG_8362

Their full-skirted pinafore style aprons, made from poly-cotton plaid fabric, are elaborately machine-embroidered with colorful flowers and birds.  Worn daily, they are the “uniform” of the women of the village beginning when they are little girls.  And, most women have a wardrobe full — one to match each dress.

IMG_8363

Thanks to microfinancing assistance from Fundación En Via, many of the women have developed profitable businesses selling these aprons and also have branched out to making tote bags and purses.  The Fundación recently held a 3-day expo-venta in Oaxaca city and guess what I came home with?

IMG_9040

I’m hoping to go on one of the Fundación microfinancing tours next month — to meet and learn from the women who benefit and to further contribute to this worthwhile endeavor.  Empowering women empowers communities!

Read Full Post »

The lowly utilitarian apron has been elevated to an art form by the Zapotec women of the Tlacolula valley in Oaxaca.  Worn every day, mandiles (aprons) are an essential and practical part of their traditional dress.  Most women own several and take great pains to color coordinate them with the day’s attire.

IMG_2773

Fiesta honoring the Virgen de Guadalupe at the home of Fidel Cruz and Maria Luisa Mendoza, Teotitlán del Valle.

Plainer aprons are worn around the home.  However, they don one of their “Sunday best” aprons for special occasions.  These are heavily embroidered and often have necklines and hems that are scalloped and, as a fashion statement, are frequently worn to the weekly market.

IMG_4636

Vendor at the Sunday market in Tlacolula del Valle.

Mandiles are made of store-bought poly-cotton fabric, usually in a small plaid design. While “100% cotton” sounds more desirable to many of us, the blend is undeniably more practical.  After all, who wants to iron when there is work to do and the temperatures are summery all year ’round?

P1260389

Andrea weaving in Teotitlán del Valle.

Even though the embroidery is done by sewing machine, the more elaborate designs can take from three to four days days to make.  Aprons range in price from approximately 150 to 700 pesos.

IMG_3331_Leonor

Leonor Lazo feeding a baby goat in Teotitlán del Valle.

Given that, in addition to being practical, these are also a fashion accessory,  it should come as no surprise that styles can vary from village to village.

San Miguel del Valle girls

Young women from San Miguel del Valle attending a festival in Teotitlán del Valle.

I grew up with aprons.  My grandmother lived next door and could always be found wearing a “house-dress” and a pinafore style apron with front patch pockets.  Some were plain, but many she decorated with embroidery.  Thus the mandiles of Oaxaca spoke to me and I listened.

IMG_5941

Reyna Mendoza speaking to her El Sabor Zapoteco cooking class.

My first “Oaxaca” apron was a maroon plaid cobbler style with only a moderate amount of embroidery. After a year or two, it became so much a part of my home attire that I bought another in brown plaid.  These are my workhorses and I wear them every day while cooking, cleaning, and even gardening.  And, I proudly bring my own apron to cooking classes and make sure to pack one when I’ve been invited to a fiesta in Teotitlán del Valle — putting it on to help clear tables. I always get smiles from the women (and some of the men, too).

IMG_5984

Me, the metate, and maiz at El Sabor Zapoteco cooking class in Teotitlán del Valle.

However, after countless Sunday market day trips to Tlacolula de Matamoros, not to mention, spending a lot time over the past several years in Teotitlán del Valle, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the fashion statements women, both young and old, were making, so I bought a slightly more elaborately embroidered pinafore style and then another and another.

IMG_6753

Three of my mandiles; the red is the newest.

I even dared to wear one recently in New York at my granddaughter’s first birthday party.  With children ranging in age from six weeks to six years, I thought it was a very practical fashion statement on my part.  And, guess who got one for her birthday?

IMG_6757

Birthday present to my granddaughter — a toddler-size mandil.

A good place to check who is wearing what style of mandil is at Tlacolula’s Sunday market.  And, should you want to buy one for yourself and/or give one as a gift, there are at least eight apron stalls at the back of the market on Sundays.

img_4634

Apron stall at the back of the Tlacolula de Matamoros market.

Read Full Post »

After three weeks in el norte, all my bags are packed and I’m ready to return to Oaxaca.  While malls and supermarkets abound here in the San Francisco Bay Area, shopping doesn’t hold a candle to experiencing the Sunday market in Tlacolula de Matamoros.

IMG_4633

Sidewalk murals greet shoppers on their way to the mercado.

IMG_4637

Wearing traditional skirts, blouses, rebozos, and aprons, vendors compete for customers.

P1250274

Stopping inside the mercado for barbacoa de chivo is a delicious way to take a break.

IMG_4634

The apron selection, like everything else, is mind boggling!

IMG_4638

Lastly, another sidewalk mural to send shoppers on their way home.

There is nothing like the life and color of shopping in Oaxaca.  ¡Hasta pronto!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: