Woven Crossroads: Textiles from the Center of Oaxaca
(For tour price and other information, please see the Trip Details sidebar on this page)
A village of 5,000 tapestry weavers, silk revival in the Sierra Madre, the hidden weavers of Oaxaca City and the ancient fiber arts of the Oaxacan valleys.
There are fascinating textiles being made the length and breadth of Oaxaca state and through our various textile tours we cover much of it. But the best place to start exploring this rich diversity is right in the center with the textiles of the Oaxacan valleys and the northern Sierra. We'll take an in depth journey into the Zapotec village of 5,000 weavers, Teotitlan del Valle with its weaving, natural dyeing and stylistic influences from Zapotec, Middle Eastern and Navajo cultures. We visit a remote village where some of the last inheritors of a 450 year-old Spanish silk cultivation and Zapotec weaving tradition are found and a coop working to rescue the silk way. We'll look at the traditional fiber arts in the Ocotlan valley-A village of backstrap weavers crafting contemporary ideas on traditional looms, fine cane basket makers and a young man creating art from corn husks. And we'll explore Oaxaca city, where hidden behind the walls of urban neighborhoods weavers from the entire state can be found at work. The fascinating textiles at Oaxaca's center speak of deep indigenous roots, diversity and a land that has been a crossroads of ideas and influences for centuries.
||6-12 Pax: $750, 3-5 Pax: $975
||Oaxaca, México. Oaxaca Valley and the Eastern Sierra Madre.
||4 days/3 nights
||Aug 8-11, 2012
Oct 15-18, 2012
Nov 9-12, 2012
||* Professional, bilingual guide
* All local transport in private van
* Entry fees, tips for meals, tips to presenters/artisans
* Local guides and transportation
* High quality, small group travel.
||Three nights lodging double occupancy (single supplement $90, limited availability on two nights).
|MEALS & DRINKS
||2 breakfasts, lunch daily, 3 dinners
||* Airfare and transport to/from airport
* Alcoholic beverages other than those listed above
* Personal items
* Some meals may not be included to offer flexibility in meal choices
* Tip to your tour guides should you feel it is merited. 5-10% of tour price is a standard per person guideline for tip to the guide or guide team.
Tour Itinerary by Day:
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner included in tour price.
Day 1, (LD) Our adventure begins at 9am at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca (Hidalgo 917) where we'll enjoy a private tour of this institution unique to Mexico. Not only is the building gorgeous, the museum offers fascinating exhibitions of textiles from Mexico and the world, holds one of the most important collections of Oaxacan textiles in Mexico and does ongoing restoration as well as outreach to Oaxacan weavers. We'll spend the rest of the day travelling the state of Oaxaca without leaving Oaxaca city. A diversity of weavers from the remote corners of the state have settled in the city and continue their trade hidden behind blank walls in Oaxaca's neighborhoods. From embroidered velvet of the Isthmus, to fine backstrap weaving from the southern sierra and flying shuttle looms, we'll meet weavers from far and wide today. Evening in Oaxaca.
Day 2, (LD) We travel to Mexico's largest weaving village, Teotitlan del Valle and meet the masters of the loom. We'll immerse ourselves in this creative, traditional and culturally rich Zapotec village, visiting a cross section of weavers who exemplify the diversity of tapestry weaving being done here from well-made floor rugs to luxury center pieces of fine alpaca and mohair wools or even contemporary loom "paintings". We'll spend time with one of the authentic master natural dyers who is part of a small dyeing renaissance happening in the village. Much of the best weaving in Teotitlan happens behind workshop doors and it can be hard to know where to go and who to visit. We know and take you there, sharing a quality look at this most spectacular of artisan villages. Teotitlan is also famous for it's excellent, traditional Zapotec cuisine and we'll enjoy a home cooked meals made by one of the villages outstanding chefs. We'll spend the evening in a family run lodge in Teotitlan del Valle.
Day 3, (BLD) The pine covered peaks that rise high above Oaxaca City are part of the Eastern Sierra Madre. Into them we travel today to visit one of the last surviving silk production areas in Mexico. 450 years ago the silk trade was booming throughout Oaxaca and the wealth it produced fueled the construction of some of the most elegant early churches in Oaxaca. But a century of disease, corruption and competition from the Orient turned that boom into a bust and by 1620 silk had all but disappeared from Mexico. However Oaxaca, remote, hidden and deeply rooted, hasn't paid much attention to the wider world's cycles of boom and bust. What you no longer find anywhere else you still find in Oaxaca. Lost in the sierra for centuries was a village where silk never died out. It was on the brink of disappearing in the 1990s, but efforts have been made to bring back this luxurious trade. We'll meet members of a cooperative who have been on the forefront of that effort and see their beautiful creations of handspun silk woven on backstrap and floor looms and often colored with natural dyes. Please be prepared for a long, winding drive in the sierra. Evening in Teotitlan del Valle.
Day 4, (BL) We visit three villages today and relax into the shady courtyards of artisans' homes, learning about their trades, their lives, and sharing conversation. The backstrap weavers of Jalietza are the last traditional backstrap weavers in the Oaxaca valleys and are unique in the state of Oaxaca for their use of rigid heddles in their looms. Nearby skilled artisans work cane to create sturdy cargo baskets for harvesting corn and extremely fine baskets to wear on the arm when going to market. Then to meet an creative young man who uses cornhusks to create figures, baskets and decorations. Today we look at an unusual mixture of interesting fiber arts and old trades, but what the day is really about is people meeting people. We'll enjoy lunch in the heart of the wonderful Ocotlan market. Evening in Oaxaca/lodging not included in tour price. If you need help making lodging arrangements please contact us.
All itineraries subject to change without notice.