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News — textiles

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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The Art of Embroidered Stories

Peggy Stein artesania embroidery Mexican Patzcuaro textiles

The Art of Embroidered Stories

Near Lake Patzcuaro in Michoacán, indigenous women embroider colorful pictures that can be framed or made into decorative pillows and clothing. The themes of these embroidered “stories” originally came from ancient mythology of the Tarascan or Purepecha Indians, drawn from seals found in Tzintzuntzan. Gradually many women  there began depicting traditional village dances such as the Dance of the Viejitos and festivals such as Dia de los Muertos. The artisans also embroider scenes of women cooking, men fishing, and other scenes of daily life in a Purepecha village. Teofila Servin Barriga is one of the most well-known of the Santa...

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Crazy for Mexican Crafts?

Peggy Stein artesania crafts Mexican textiles

Crazy for Mexican Crafts?

After twelve years of selling artesania to American customers, I cannot tell you what kind of person will be a Mexican artesania addict. Maybe you're one! A lot of my merchandise is housewares and decorative items, but we also carry woven rebozos and embroidered blouses, which some women are absolutely crazy for. Not everyone feels comfortable wearing an "ethnic" piece of wearable folk art, but there are some women, and again I can't predict who they will be, who embrace the style enthusiastically. These customers usually come back for more because the blouses make them happy. I believe that's what art is...

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