Zitlala, Chilapa, Guerrero is a traditional Nahua town where costume and tradition are well preserved. The dress is a large embroidered tube skirt with a woven belt and hand embroidered huipil. Bob Freund 8/23/2006
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Zitlala, Guerrero – accompanied by Pan Scheinman we drove up the steep rods into Zitlala. Just as we got out of the car a young girl in full gala costume came walking by. We decided to follow her, Pam was able to locate the house were she lives. We knocked on the door and after explaining the purpose of the textile study I was able to take these wonderful shots of Ayeutli ( Misty) a three year old. The unmarried girls have the sequence and embroidery on the huipil and the married women use only a simple white huipil.

It began to pour and since we were trapped in the house her Mom Ciegeria asked if we wanted see how the traditional costume is put on. Well it is quite a process; the key is to have the belt thrown over your shoulder. Once you place the 10 feet of hand-woven and embroidered wrap skirt over your head, it is gathered and the belt is deftly tied around to hold it is place. Once in place, the pleats are formed, first for the back and the skirt is spun around, then the pleats are formed for the front.

After we watched the way the dress is put on , Ciegeria explain the basics for the festival that is on Sept 8- 10. One of the central and important part is bringing out the Teponaztli, or traditional indigenous drum. Only one person can care for the drum , he is the flute player. In the morning of the festival the dancers arrive at the home of the flute player and they make offerings and prayer. Latter it is carried onto the roof of the church by the tigers, the flute player and the two chief dancers. We were fortunate enough to be brought to the home were the alter of the teponaztli is located. It is well cared for and there were offerings of flowers and a wreath of Marigold was hung over each one. There was food on alter and the floor. We were asking to leave an offering.