San Gabriel Chilac is a handicraft town where many people embroider clothing for the national and international market. My first visit documenting the town was in 1993 and recently three visits in 2006. Few women still wear the traditional blouse.
Bob Freund 7/20/06
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painted photo of costume
photo 1940´s
San Gabriel Chilac is a crafts town, it doesn’t seem that way when you ride through it, but there are many people here that make a living off the embroidered blouses that are derived from the traditional blouse. The first image is one of the only women I found that still used the traditional blouse, Doña Tila , (Matidle). When I delivered her photo, she showed me a wall of memories that she has, probably over 100 photos of all sorts of events. She took the time to show all of the pictures and point out the different blouses and dress from the region. She explained how the costume from the village had evolved, from a simple white huipil with a row of flowers into the blouse she wears. There was also a ornate beaded blouse that is used during festivals and is rare now. The first image on the second row is from the family Mendoza, it is a picture taken in the 1940's which shows some style modification when compared to the blouse Dona Tila wears.

When I visited Santa Maria Coapa I took a photo of the second lady on the top, she is from Chilac but lives in Santa Maria, she conserves her blouse but wears a skirt similar to those worn in Santa Maria.