Bob Freund
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Santa Cruz is an important place in terms of the backstrap woven belt. We drove through the municipal capital town of Tequila, and Santa Cruz is located about 800 to1,000 feet above Tequila. There is a new road that leads up there and it ends at about the center of the town of Santa Cruz. There are no services. There is light, but there is no water. The people must go down into the canyon to the creek and haul the water up the hill either to a place where a truck can carry it the rest of the way or they can carry it on their heads up to the top of the hill where they are located.

Throughout this region everybody uses Nawaqui names. I had a really difficult time getting the correct spelling, and in fact never got the correct spelling of the names, and in some cases I only got first names because the people there didn’t speak Spanish. There is a woman there I believe is called Tzoco Zetalahua (probably incorrect), but she is the leader of the textile collective up there. She took us to her home where she showed me some of the belts she is weaving and some of the other craft products she was making. They also grow mushrooms and straw there – they’re looking for any way they can make it.

As you can see in the pictures, these belts are extraordinary! The weaving is very precise and miniature in terms of the number of threads used. I’m not sure of the technique because on the front you see the colors, but on the back it is white. You don’t see the reverse of the design on the back. She was able to sell me one of her belts that was woven in silk. You can see the picture Nawa 4041B – she had made herself, and she told me that it had almost all the designs that she knows in it. There was one other person there who also wove the ponchos that they were and has the characteristic designs in it.

After we visited to Santa Cruz, we drove back down into the town of Tequila and were able to document some of the people wearing costumes there.