Sunday, August 09, 2009

Oaxacan and Zapotec Indian Weavers

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I've been to Oaxaca, Mexico, several times in my life. I shot this photo of Zapotec Indian women and children weaving hand dyed wool into garments including serapes, shawls and wall hangings in 1979 on my third visit there. They would tie their hand- fashioned looms to trees for stability and sit all day weaving their intensely colorful wares.

I was fascinated by their nimble fingers and their focus/state of meditation. I'd worked in beaded macrame and embroidery in the 1960s and could relate somewhat to how they must have felt being so transfixed on their craft and livelihood. They would start early in the morning, sitting in one spot and weaving for most of the daylight hours and then pack up their goods and return to their homes.

I began to string beads in my childhood, continued in the '60s. In 1999, I began to learn about bead weaving and have been learning about it since. It has become a passion and indeed a meditation and a pleasure.

Many thanks to the beautiful Zapotec Indian women for being a significant creative influence in my life, both with their weaving and their dedication to their craft.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jan,
I spent a week in Oaxaca many years ago. I still have the handcrafted rug I purchased from a lovely family and also some black pottery. I would love to go back someday.
Good luck tomorrow for the give away.