Artisan Connect

Indigenous Craftswomen Take on Mexican Fashion World

Date : 2011-05-12 21:29:20

DescriptionAMEALCO, Mexico, May 9, 2011 (IPS) - Reina Pérez, an Otomi indigenous craftswoman in the central Mexican state of Querétaro, skilfully embroiders "grecas" or traditional design motifs in threads of many colours, on fabrics that will be used to make dresses, skirts and blouses. "A piece of embroidery work can take me a week to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the order. A tablecloth or a set of place mats may take longer," the 37-year-old woman told IPS at her home in Yosphí, a village of approximately 1,000 people in the municipality of Amealco, 200 kilometres north of Mexico City. Pérez, who learned the art of Otomi textile embroidery from her mother and grandmother, is one of 820 native craftswomen from 18 Querétaro municipalities who take part in a project named "MäKA", which means "holy" in the Otomi and Ñähñu languages. The project was launched in August 2010 by the government's System for Comprehensive Family Development (DIF) in Querétaro state, which runs eight programmes including "QuéArte", under which MäKA was founded. The clothing line created by designer Alejandro Medina and the native embroiderers has already been presented at fashion shows, with their second collection of 440 garments made of linen and a very lightweight, fine-woven gabardine being modelled with great success at Fashion Week Mexico, the country's biggest fashion show, in November 2010. Carolina García, the coordinator of "Qué-Arte", told IPS: "The craftswomen were making napkins or blouses, and we thought of ways of helping them earn a steady income." (...)

Name of InstitutionIndigenous Craftswomen Take on Mexican Fashion World

Author(s) NameKristen Patin

Added/Updated byKristen Patin

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