Posts Tagged ‘mothers’

Braided with love (and a little pain).  Ahhh, I remember it well…  Thinking of you, mom.


Triqui mother and daughter near Santo Domingo, Oaxaca city, 2014

3 generations on top of El Picacho, Teotitlán del Valle

3 generations on top of El Picacho, Teotitlán del Valle, 2014 Día de la Santa Cruz.

Queen and mother at 2nd Viernes en Llano, Oaxaca city

Queen and mother at 2nd Viernes del Llano, March 2014, Oaxaca city.

Feliz Día de la Madre to all the beautiful, hardworking mothers of Oaxaca and all over the world.

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My mom was a folk dancer.  She had studied ballet, tap, and acrobatic dancing when she was young and brought that training and muscle memory along with her when she took up folk dancing in her mid thirties.  I spent many hours over the years watching her dance; the Kamarinskaya from Russia, Swedish Hambo, Fandango from Portugal, Mexico’s Jarabe Tapatio, and so many more.  In addition to being a talented dancer, she made her own costumes.  A dressmaker’s dummy was a permanent fixture in her bedroom, yards of colorful cotton fabric and braid were piled next to the sewing machine, and in the evenings her hands and eyes were often occupied embroidering pieces for a new costume.

Mom died in 1989, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.  So, on this Mother’s Day, this is for you mom…

Multicolored huipil with peacock design


Jewel toned embroidered huipil with peacock design

Zinacatán, Chiapas, Mexico

Black skirt embroidered on the diagonal with flowers

Zinacatán, Chiapas, Mexico

Black dress with gold-tone embroidery on sleeve and bodice.

San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca, Mexico

Geometric yellow and red embroidery on purple skirt with lace bottom

Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

Close up of the back of a brightly embroidered huipil on black velvet

Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Today, May 10, is Día de la Madre in Mexico and it is celebrated in much the same way as in el norte.

Sign under papel picados at Casa Mayordomo Restaurante: "Feliz dia mama

The celebration migrated south from the USA in the early 20th century and was embraced and promoted by the Catholic Church AND the anticlerical Revolutionaries.  As for their reasons, I will quote from Liza Bakewell’s book, Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun.

… around the 1850s the Liberals… were nervous about women’s growing participation in the public sphere.  Establishing motherhood as venerable and the home as sanctified… would give women a sphere of their own where they could be boss.  Also, it would keep them off the streets and out of the workplace where they had begun to compete with men for jobs.

Under their watch, everyday motherhood became an exalted madre-hood…. The twentieth-century Revolutionaries who succeeded them took the idea and ran with it, adding in 1922 a ritual, Mother’s Day… [p. 84]

Needless to say, the women of Mexico have not stayed home!  As I write, hundreds of women are marching on Mexico City, participating in the March of National Dignity: Mothers Looking for their Sons and Daughters and Searching for Justice.  And, as for the workforce, according to a report citing the 2010 census, 33.3% of women work and this doesn’t even include those working in family operated enterprises.

However distasteful the reasons behind the establishment of Mother’s Day in Mexico, it does nothing to diminish the need to honor these beautiful, hardworking, formidable, and loving women.

2 women pining veil on young woman

Woman with rebozo on her head, sitting on side of hill with 3 children

Woman at the reins with 2 boys in a horse drawn cart

Close up of woman holding a baby

¡Feliz Día de la Madre mis compañeras!

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