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News — blouses

Returning to Zipiajo!

Peggy Stein artesania authentic blouses clay crafts embroidery folk art handmade Michoacan textiles traditional

Returning to Zipiajo!

We met Elvia Silva Bartolo in 2004 while Doug and I were shooting our documentary. She’s in Zipiajo, a Purepecha village way off the beaten track where a few artisans make unpainted terracotta clay pots and gorgeous embroidered blouses.We didn’t know about the embroidery at the time, and until we were in Elvia’s workshop we had no idea that she had an incredible talent for sculpting clay animal figures. We bought a few small ones that day, and later purchased some that won prizes in Michoacán state fairs. She has a piece in the prestigious Museo del Arte Popular in...

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Always Handmade and Authentic

Peggy Stein artesania authentic blouses crafts cultural appropriation handmade Mexican textiles traditional

Always Handmade and Authentic

There are a lot of tongues wagging, and rightfully so, about the cultural appropriation (ripping off) of traditional textile designs created by indigenous artisans in Mexico. I am angry and concerned, and you will most likely hear more from me about this subject. I'm also alarmed by what's happening in the Mexican crafts world in general, due to globalization and the power of commercial interests who could give a flying you-know-what about preserving or respecting anyone's cultural identity. While you as a customer can find more and more online shops professing to carry items "handmade in Mexico", beware that there is no...

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Handmade-- endangered species?

Peggy Stein artesania blouses crafts handmade Michoacan rebozos textiles traditional

Handmade-- endangered species?

In indigenous communities in the poor state of Michoacán, there aren’t a lot of employment opportunities for women without much education. If a woman can work on a blouse or rebozo for a few hours a day while a pot of beans is cooking over the fire and she watches her children, that is something that can provide some income for her family. The traditional designs that have been passed down from mother to daughter represent their community and culture. If the demand for the work disappears, it would be a financial and spiritual loss for the women and their families.  

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