Weaving the Universe in Chiapas

Chiapas is a mystery and a land of contradictions. Geographically, it ranges from the deep, sweaty Lacandon rainforest to the high, cold, encircling Sierra Madres. Spiritually, it’s traditional Roman Catholicism with holy mass one day, and chicken sacrifices in the corner of the church the next. It’s European saints’ effigies dressed in layers of handwoven […]

A State of Wonderment: Photography of Joe Coca

Joe Coca

All of our books, despite variations in craft techniques and far flung locations, share common themes: endangered textile traditions, the life stories of indigenous artisans, and culture and place as context—those hands that shape craft and crafter. The other common thread in our books is the remarkable photography of Joe Coca. Last fall, in celebration […]

A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass to their children generation after generation. Whether in Mexico or Morocco, Afghanistan or Laos, mothers have been teaching their daughters (ands sons) to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider for centuries. Sharing these skills with the next generation is practical, of course, because it creates a […]

Ritual, Tradition, and What Is Holy

What is holy

Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter, is a time of amazement and passion in Latin America. I’ve had the good fortune to be in Chiapas, Mexico, for this special time once, and in Guatemala, twice. The memories are vivid and indelible. Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala It’s early morning before dawn, and a throng of […]

The Velveteen Rabbit of Books

Highlands of Chiapas

Getting books across international borders can be tricky. Sometimes it’s a language problem, sometimes it’s a massive red-tape problem, sometimes just a spiteful government official having a bad day. When we published A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas I committed to sending several hundred copies to the author, Chip Morris, in San Cristóbal, […]

When a Woman Rises

I first met Christine Eber at the Weave A Real Peace (WARP) annual meeting in 2016. Her moving keynote address about her work with the Maya Women in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, made me an instant admirer. As an anthropologist, Christine began eighteen months of field work in Chenalhó, Chiapas, in 1987, work that […]

Mexico on my Mind

huipil, Chiapas, Mexico

Linda returned this week from further adventures in Mexico, another book in the offing. When you’ve been to a place so many times, you amass quite a collection of stories (and huipils!). Here’s an oldie but a goody from Linda’s travels in Chiapas. Enjoy! —Karen   Handmade in Chiapas, Mexico As Maya huipils go, those […]

Not a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

My Friends in Mexico

Around the world, especially here in the U.S., folks are donning sombreros and sipping margaritas in honor of Cinco de Mayo. While the world celebrates the 1862 victory of Mexico over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, oddly enough, it’s a little-celebrated event in Mexico itself. So on this fifth of May, we’ve decided […]

Breeze of Blessing

A few weeks ago, I read about an exhibition at the University of Wisconsin’s Ruth Davis Design Gallery, Whirling Return of the Ancestors. The exhibition presents the Egúngún masquerades inspired by a tradition of the Yorùbá peoples of West Africa that honors and celebrates the power and presence of ancestors. Egúngún is a unique cultural […]

In the Beginning, Weaving a Story

TwinklingofanEye

“The relationship between weaving and storytelling is as old as time.” Carol Karasik wrote that, describing her book of folk tales, Maya Gods & Monsters. She also describes a mysterious thread that binds spoken and visual languages together. I like thinking of textiles as visual language. As Linda and I have been working on our […]

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