El Bosque, Chiapas a Tzotzil village.
Web gallery by Bob Freund
with particiaption of Karen Elwell and Tom Aleto, Narratives by Karen Elwell 9/2005


tzotzil_huipil_el bosque
We purchased a beautifully cross-stitched blouse while visiting Chiapa de Corzo. I didn´t know what town this blouse came from, so I showed it to a textile expert in San Cristobal. She thought it came from El Bosque, a remote Tzotzil municipio not far from the famous amber mines of Simojovel. The expert had never visited El Bosque because of safety concerns. This area had been the scene of fierce fighting after the Zapatista uprising in 1994. The Zapatistas gained control of the municipio and renamed it San Juan de la Libertad, but it was retaken by the government in 1998. Paramilitary units apparently remain active in the region. A paved road leads to El Bosque from San Andres, and many women in San Andres wear the El Bosque style of blouse. However, they state that the San Andres and El Bosque blouses differ due to the colors used in the embroidery. The blocks of cross stitch represent flowers, and women can tell at a glance which kind of flower is being represented on the blouse.