Ojitlan, Oaxaca- A large Chinantec town were custom and tradition are still strong but textiles and language are diminishing in use. A handicraft union is preserving their textile traditions by teaching textiles technique to younger women.
Bob Freund 2/23/2005 Return to Chinantec Home Page
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San Lucas Ojitlan is a large Chinantec town located near Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. The town has an active handicrafts union (2004) that teaches textile arts and weaving to younger women. Handicrafts bring in an extra income, but also help preserve the traditions. As individuals sit, talk, and learn, they all discuss what is going on in town, who is marrying who and so forth. In the course of these conversations, traditions and culture are transmitted. In the picture next to the map, there are members of the collective teaching others about the techniques that they use to weave and embroider. There are two types of huipils in Ojitlan, the day-to-day, which is red, and the gala, which has a white background. The backstrap loom weaves the base material for the huipil and then the material is embroidered. In the following pages there are examples of the preparation of the backstrap loom, its use, and the steps needed to finish a huipil.