Today, Thursday 19th March is ‘Dia International del Artesano’ or International Artisan Day. We have been celebrating by honoring a different talented artisan each day of the week on our social media. In case you don’t follow us there we are shouting about these wonderful humans here too. We feel lucky to be able to visit them on our journeys to Mexico, and seeing their incredible work first hand, may they continue to share these traditions for years to come.
Lucia Landis, together with her sister Erika, her mother Flavia, her cousins, neighbors and most of the women of the village of San Blas Atempa, carries for the trade of hand embroidery. Working on satin or velvet, she paints with thread, creating jubilant flowers that then adorn the Zapotec women of this region as they walk through life. It is a known fact that the heavens smile upon beauty and we can be that beauty. Today is a good day to be a blossom on this land.
San Bartolo Coyotepec is a town famous for its polished, black pottery. For thousands of years the people of this town have made this smoke darkened pottery, but over the last 50 years the production methods and quality of the pottery has changed as it has shifted from being utilitarian to souvenir. Palemon Barranco is one of only three potters left who still makes the pottery entirely using ancestral techniques. In his hands exists an encyclopedia of ancient knowledge. The old timers and their ways carried wisdom worth listening to today. We celebrate and honor this knowing. It matters. Thank you Palemon for not forgetting.
Alegoria Lorenzo Quiroz is the leader of a collective of women comprised of family and friends in the Mixtec village of San Juan Colorado. They cultivate natural brown cotton, spin it and weave it. Weaving has been part of her family and her village for generations and she carries this knowledge into the present. From the earth, through her hands, to the clothes on one’s back, we salute Alegoria and the women of San Juan Colorado!
Florentina Lopez de Jesus, may you rest in peace. You have passed on the torch, bringing together women, teaching young girls and keeping the flame bright among the spinners, weavers and cotton cultivators of Xochislahuaca. Your legacy lives on and lives well. Through your work you have passed forward a gift to humanity, the continued thriving of ancient knowledge. With gratitude mujer artesana!
I want to recognize the Mateo family of San Marcos Tlapazola, my sisters from another mother, my role models and dear friends. This family had brought forth a revival of the clay-way of this ancient pottery village, struggling through the dark ages of this trade in the 70’s and 80’s and finding a way to rise, reinvent the ancient and keep it vital in this new era. Deep roots and innovations for a changing world, this family is a flagship for the wise.