Oaxaca Stories in Cloth: A Book about People, Belonging, Identity, and Adornment

Eric  Mindling
October 2016


Winner of the 2016 Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for best Multicultural book.


Eric Mindling has been traveling the back roads of Oaxaca, Mexico, for over two decades. Oaxaca Stories in Cloth shows not only his love, but his respect for that dramatic geography and the people who have made it their home. More than 100 sensitive, intimate, full-color portraits of traditional people offer rare glimpses of Oaxacan village life. The companion vignettes are a beautiful blend of villagers’ personal stories and Mindling’s praise song to vanishing cultural traditions of Mexico.

The book is arranged in two sections: Living Threads records the villages where traditional dress is alive and evolving; Last Generation presents those villages where the community fashion of generations will die with the remaining elders. Each section is a beautiful and significant account.

Eric Mindling has lived and worked in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 1992. He operates a tour company, Traditions Mexico, offering culturally intimate experiences for adventurous travelers. His 2010 book, Fire and Clay, a pioneering book about Oaxacan pottery, has been published in three languages. Eric was recognized in 2015 and 2016 for his photography, taking an award with London-based, Survival International, as well as being a finalist in the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the Aspen Institute.


ISBN: 978-0-9838860-8-2
Sold in Oaxaca, Mexico, at Amate Books.


REVIEWS & PRESS for Oaxaca Stories in Cloth

Foreword Reviews: “From the colorful pompoms and plaited hair of a woman dressed for a wedding in San Martin Itunyoso to the bold animal designs woven into garments made in San Pablo Tijaltepec, these dazzling images give a glimpse into the daily life of those (mostly women) who still wear the traditional dress and documents a ‘last generation’ in places where only the oldest still wear the traditional clothes.”

Midwest Book Review: “Oaxaca Stories in Cloth” is a stunning documentary collection of formal dress portraits of many men and women in colorful formal traditional dress from different outlying areas of Oaxaca, Mexico.

HandEye Magazine: ” . . he inspires hope that through his own storytelling there can be a renaissance of heritage and craft consciousness on behalf of the 50 communities he spent time with.”

Goodreads Community Reviews: ” . . . From El Mago to the grandmother carrying on he stories of her community, this book has touched me far more than I thought it would.”

Amazon Reviews:  “. . . So often it is easy to pick up a book like this and stare in wonder at people different than yourself- this book humanizes the subjects in a way that is so rare. ”
“. . . This book is a must by if you have an interest in the art, culture and people of Oaxaca and Mexico.”
“This book will touch your heart.”

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