Feb 07 - Feb 17 2015
Trip: Textiles and Folk Art
Name: The Textile Traditions of Oaxaca: Coast and Valley
Departure Type: Group and Private
Duration: 11 Days
Price: $2,685 Double Occupancy
On this journey, we explore the multiple ethnic communities of Oaxaca (and Guerrero) to learn of their cultural and ethnic expressions in dress and textiles. From the Amuzgo in Guerrero to the Mixtec, Huave, Zapotec in Oaxaca we will readily see how textile traditions and dress are a cultural passport and unique expression of the women (and some men) who live in this region. We will learn of the fibers, such as coyuchi cotton and natural dye sources, such as Purpura Pansa, indigo and cochineal. This is an extraordinary, close up journey into the communities where we meet the people and artisans who create visual masterpieces.
- Learn of the Indigenous Textile Traditions of Oaxaca's Amuzgo, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Huave people.
- Meet weavers and coops in remote communities of Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, Pinotepa de Don Luis, San Juan Colorado, Huazolotitlan, Jamiltepec, Juchitan and Tehuantepec to learn about and purchase textiles.
- Travel with the purpura pansa dyers of the Coast to see how they extract this scarce purple dye.
- Learn about the history and evolution of "traje" from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Download Complete Itinerary (PDF)
- Day One: Arrive at our destination airport, Acapulco. From here, we immediately transfer to our base for the Amuzgo region, Ometepec, Guerrero. Upon arrival, we relax in our hotel and enjoy a great welcome dinner at the Carreta Marinero, where our hosts are gourmet cooks!(D)
- Day Two: An amazing day awaits, as we travel to the mecca of Amuzgo weavers, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, where we meet the extraordinary weavers of the coop, Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formerly lead by master weaver and teacher to young women, Florentina. The tradition remains alive, due to the dedication of these women to their art and heritage. We see the huipils that are woven on backstrap looms, taking up to six months to produce. And, we'll learn about the ancient and native cottons such as coyuche, with carmel hues, and others with sage green hues. Overnight Ometepec.(B,L)
- Day Three: Today, we travel to meet some of the most talented and inspiring weavers, spinners and dyers of the coastal Mixteco region of Oaxaca, known as the Costa Chica. In two communities, Pinotepa de Don Luis and San Juan Colorado, we will learn about the traditional dress of the region, such as the pozahuanco wrap skirt of purple Murex, indigo and cochineal stripes. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional.(B,L)
- Day Four: Today we visit the communities of Huazolotitlan and Jamiltepec to meet with some of the best weavers and embroiderers of the region and to see how dress changes from one community to the next. The huipiles worn here are very unique and colorful, displaying the double headed eagle, roosters and other motifs. We have arranged for meetings with wonderful weavers and co-ops. We'll travel to Puerto Escondido on the Pacific Ocean to enjoy our first evening listening to the crashing waves from the veranda of the Hotel Santa Fe.(B,L)
- Day Five: We have purposefully designed in a Free day in Puerto Escondido to enjoy the beautiful natural environment of this Pacific Coast fishing (and surfing!) town. Options for today include: Visit the Manialtepec Lagoon and take a "lancha" boat ride through the beautiful mangroves, sit by pool at Hotel Santa Fe, walk on the beach, take a surfing class!(B)
- Day Six: Today we travel further up the coast to Huatulco, where we are met by the leader of the Mixtec coop of purpura pansa, Murex dyers, who have extracted the purple dye from the Purpura Pansa mollusk for generations. We learn about the tradition of dyeing with a live mussel, without harming it, and the work of anthropologist Marta Turok, to educate people on the threats to this now endangered creature of nature and the natural dye traditions of the Mixtec community.(B,L)
- Day Seven: Leaving Huatulco, we continue up the Oaxaca coast towards Salina Cruz, to the Huave community of weavers, San Mateo del Mar. While the women are Huave, they have adopted the dress of the Zapotec women of the Isthmus; the colorful huipil accompanied with a flowing, equally colorful skirt. Their traditional whimsical weaving designs of animals, fish, butterflies, can be seen on the runners, place mats and other utilitarian items they weave of cotton on backstrap looms. From here, we travel into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to visit the Zapotec community, Juchitan. In the evening we will enjoy a "pasarela" fashion show where we'll learn of the history of traje, or dress which is so emblematic of this region, making the women of Tehuantepec a favorite subject of artists and sculptors, such as Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Zuniga, and made popular by Frida Kahlo, who often was seen wearing beautiful traje brought to her by travelers to the region. Overnight in Tehuantepec.(B,L)
- Day Eight: Day Two in Isthmus of Tehuantepec! Today we spend time learning about the different embroidery techniques of this region, including "gancho" (hook), "cadenilla" machine chain stitch, hand and machine embroidery. We'll visit the colorful markets of Juchitan and Tehuantepec.(B,L)
- Day Nine: Today we leave the coast and Isthmus behind and begin our journey into the Valley of Oaxaca. Arriving in Oaxaca, we are free to explore co-ops, galleries, museums and markets of Oaxaca, or people watch at the Zocalo! Overnight Oaxaca (B)
- Day Ten: Today has been designed as a free day in Oaxaca City, as many of you have your favorite places to visit. We are happy to make arrangements for other excursions! Tonight, we'll enjoy a Festive and Farewell Dinner at one of our favorite Oaxaca Restaurants. Overnight Oaxaca(B,D)
- Day Eleven: Sadly we depart, or you may extend your stay in Oaxaca.
Textiles de Oaxaca, Artes de Mexico, No. 35
Textiles from Mexico, Chloe Sayer
Textile Traditions of Mesoamerica and the Andes, Anthology, Margot Blum Schevill, Chapter 3, Pamela Scheinman