Thursday, May 19, 2016

Zapotec Mini-Rug/Coaster Fiber Art

I recently bought some of these on eBay for my collection:

Hand-woven five by five-inch Zapotec wool mini-rug/coasters. No two are alike and it has been kept that way for thousands of years. Unlike the Navajo where women weave, only Zapotec men are allowed to weave these mini wool rugs, but the raising, sheering, and dyeing of the wool is open to anyone.

In these pieces, their 2000-year old heritage is as deep and fertile as the Oaxacan Valley of Southern Mexico where the Zapotec Natives have woven a culture from the fibers of their own strong roots -- dyed with design influences from the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Colonial Spanish, and more recently, even the “modern world."

Teotitlan de Valle, while maintaining a traditional standard of design which distinguishes them as time-honored artisans, have evolved their wool-weaving art; adapting and absorbing ideas from other cultures through history. The Zapotecs today, in weaving each piece, still use 100% sheep’s wool and natural dyes derived from the plants and insects of this rich region. The Spanish colonial floor loom was introduced during the conquest of Mexico, and has been adopted and maintained as the machine of the predominantly male craftsman.

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