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 […]

Semana Santa

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 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 people […]

In the Twinkling of an Eye

In the Twinkling of an Eye

Almost 36 years ago, National Geographic magazine published an issue with Steve McCurry’s photo of a young Afghan woman on the cover. Her intense green eyes were so unexpected, and her expression so loaded with hard-to-read emotion, that the photograph has become iconic. Just google “afghan girl” and there she is, after all this time. […]

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 […]

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 […]

In the Twinkling of an Eye

More than thirty years ago, National Geographic magazine published an issue with a young Afghan woman on the cover. Her intense green eyes were so unexpected, and her expression so loaded with hard-to-read emotion, that the photograph has become iconic. Just google “afghan girl” and there she is, after all this time. Kind of like […]

Yours to Mine, Giving is Hand to Hand

Rug Money

“Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand, Mine to yours, yours to mine.” Alberto Ríos  Catarina spins with a touch that turns clouds into thread. Photo by Joe Coca from the book Traditional Weavers of Guatemala. It’s the gift-giving, and gift-finding, season. Enjoy the bounty of gifts so vivid in each of these […]

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 […]

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