Hand Woven Bag from Mexico. These Manos Zapotecas bags are hand woven in the mountains of Teotitlan, a Zapotec community of Oaxaca, Southern Mexico. Each bag is a traditional design and each weaver is identifiable. THIS bag was woven by Maria Luisa and finished by her Husband Louis. Each bag is Fair Trade certified. • This is the Diamond and Arrow Design, approximately 18" x 14" * Double leather handles • Lined Interior • Interior pocket • Zipper closure • 100% wool • Hand dyed • Hand woven • Fair Trade Zapotec people have had weaving in their blood stretching back to 500 B.C. Before the Spanish conquest in the 1500′s, their fine cotton textiles were traded all over Mesoamerica. Later the Spanish brought sheep to the weavers in Teotitlán del Valle, so they could make blankets out of wool. The friars taught the Zapotec men to treadle upright looms, and the tradition of weaving wool blankets and serapes became an integral part of daily life. Prior to the 1548 introduction of wool by the Spanish, Zapotec weavers used cotton, cactus fiber, and horse hair. The introduction of wool however gave the weavers a new material- New is relative, being more than 400 years ago. Traditional patterns were literally woven into the new materials. ...Maria Luisa enjoys every part of the weaving process, it’s combining colors that really makes her artistic heart sing. Her purses are studies in subtle and complementary color-blocking and traditional patterns. José Luis didn’t begin to weave until he married Maria Luisa more than 20 years ago. One of 11 children in a farming family, he had learned to sew when he was a student in Veracruz. He does the stitching and leather finish, with near-perfect seams and detailing. The family lives in Tlacochahuaya, a small town just a few miles away from Teotitlán del Valle, where most of the other Manos Zapotecas weavers live. “Weaving is our life now,” she says, “and it is a life full of color.” When you walk into a family home in Teotitlan, you will feel like you have walked back in time. There are usually at least four large treadle looms, the same type brought by the Spaniards so long ago. Each loom will have a different work on it, with various family members devoting hours each day to the long process. you will also see hanging skeins of yarn in shades of every imaginable color. Many of the families in Teotitlan are completely devoted to using only natural dyes which are concocted from a large variety of plant, animal and mineral sources.
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