Tenejapa, Chiapas is a Tzeltal town. Traditional clothing is still worn by many people in the town.
Karen Elwell
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1-tzeltal_weaver_ Tenejapa weaver
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1_Tenejapa hat
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1_Tenejapa huipil 2003
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1_Tenejapa_huipil 1993
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The Tzeltal village of Tenejapa sits in a picturesque mountain valley about an hour NE of San Cristobal. We have visited the friendly people of this community many times since January 1993 - most recently in January 2006. Most residents of the Municipio live in small hamlets ("parajes") scattered throughout the surrounding mountains and make their living by subsistence farming. There is another administrative center in Yochib, which is on the border with neighboring Cancuc. The climate is semi-tropical around Yochib, and Tenejapan farmers grow bananas, coffee, and tropical fruits in this area.

Both men and women wear traditional dress in Tenejapa. On a daily basis, women and girls do not wear their striking red and white huipils. Instead, they wear sweaters - often turtlenecks - with their indigo wrap skirts and overlapping belts. The designs on the two- web huipils are either embroidered or woven. According to Chip Morris, it takes about the same amount of time to produce either type. However, the woven huipils are much more expensive, possibly because the white cotton fabric must also be hand-woven. The embroidered huipils are crafted from commercial, counted cross-stitch material. There is a small workshop in town that produces the fabric for the skirts. The "clack-clack" sound of the treadle looms drew us to a two-story house where we saw skeins of indigo-dyed cotton drying on the roof. Women often wear two sashes at the same one. A hand-woven purple and black belt holds up the skirt. Over this, women wear a wool belt that is white with thin horizontal black stripes. In January 2006, we were told that both kinds of belts are made in Chamula, a Tzotzil municipality nearby.