Chip Morris: Tribute to an Unforgettable Man

You have to imagine this: Chip Morris, scruffy, sometimes cranky author of A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas is standing in the plaza before the church in San Andrés Larrainzar, Chiapas, telling stories. He’s telling in English, but tossing off comments to passing locals in their own Tzotzil language.The story that sticks in […]

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, […]

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 […]

Refrains of Nature on Earth Day

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter. ” Rachel Carson In celebration of Earth Day, we have a reprise of last year’s post–updated with some of our favorite places on earth—and some of our favorite people in those places. People who […]

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 […]

Language Matters

When you commit to publishing a book involving an indigenous culture, the question always comes up: can it be bilingual? Many of the books we’ve published are based in Spanish-speaking countries, and it would seem both logical and respectful to include both Spanish and English. And we have done that. Sometimes. En Español Chip Morris’s […]

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 […]