Solalpan, Temoaya, State of Mexico and Otomi town by Bob Freund 9/23/2005 for more information contact:
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After I finish my photo session at the rug co-op in San Pedro Bajo, I was given the name of Gabina Venito in Solalpan. The town has recently paved the road into town and it is much easier to get there now. She was easy to find she makes tortillas. After a short conversation she went to look for her mother and not long after came back with her ixtle spinning gear and her best traditional costume on. Her husband showed up in the mean time and we had a great conversation about the situation there and in other Otomi towns in the area. It is sadly obvious that the poverty there is extreme and most people that want to make any money at all become maids or laborers in Mexico City or Toluca. These types of villages have been dominated for decades by political caciques ( strongmen) and are just now starting to break loose.

Ixtle is a fiber derived from the maguey cactus and is usually woven into a cloth called Ayate, which is used in field work and also to make traditional men´s bags. She showed me how this was done and explained the process of cooking , milling , cleaning, bleaching and spinning the fiber from the cactus.

I these pictures the nature of the Otomi traditional dress in the region is clear. the transparent "saco" or over blouse can clearly be seen in the third photo on the top row. Her husband took me to another weaver whose loom was over 100 years old. Cerveriano Rodriquez Laguna weaves poncho on this grandfather´s loom. The product can be seen in the last picture on the top row. His wife has one of his ponchos over her shoulder.