Artisanal weaving workshop with women artisans from Los Altos de Chiapas
Continuing with our purpose dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of native cultures and esthetics, Juxta Nation, invites you to the event “Backstrap Loom Expressions: Artisanal weaving workshop with women artisans from Aldama and San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas.
It was a one-of-a-kind immersive experience where guests were able to get up close and personal with the fine work of the women weavers of Juxta Nation, who create and recreate unique pieces and generously shared their wisdom and ancestral knowledge with the attendees. The workshop was taught by the master artisans and designers of Juxta Nation.
Weaving New Destinations: Juxta Nation
As a mirror of the millenary processes of the backstrap loom Maria of Aldama, Maria of San Juan Cancuc and 47 other fellow weavers, have been part of a personal and professional evolution to give birth to the social enterprise Juxta Nation, which encourages autonomy and self-management of women artisans as fashion designers, entrepreneurs and agents of change.
Juxta Nation harmoniously intertwines high quality contemporary design, fair and conscious trade and the preservation and appreciation of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples, emerging as a referent of contemporary Latin American fashion.
This way, Juxta Nation is positioned as a vehicle of integral transformation not only for the artisans who, in addition to being designers, are partners and owners of the enterprise, but also for their families and communities, whose ultimate purpose is to achieve the Lekil Kuxlejal or "harmony of life" according to Mayan cosmogony.
María is a 37-year-old artisan from the community of Tsajalch'en, municipality of San Juan Cancuc. She speaks the Tseltal language and belongs to the Yaxinal Antsetik Cooperative. She learned to weave at the age of 10, and the first brocade she was taught to make is the Bats'il Chil or fine brocade.
She believes that the work she does as an artisan is important because it allows her to participate in keeping the culture of her community alive, for example, the traditional costume she wears every day distinguishes her from other communities, and it can reflect the ancestral knowledge that she has preserved.
For Maria, Juxta Nation is a project that makes her feel proud to be a woman artisan and entrepreneur and she is excited about the future benefits of this path that has just begun.
María is a 32 year old artisan from Aldama, Cabecera. She is the mother of 3 children, speaks Tsotsil and belongs to the Luchetik cooperative. Her mother taught her to weave when she was 8 years old, starting with a bag design because it is one of the simplest. Currently, she likes to weave new designs and what she enjoys most is warping and weaving.
For her it is important to maintain the backstrap loom technique in the community because it preserves the tradition and culture, for example, she is one of the women who make the traditional costume of the authorities of the municipality, which allows her to earn income for her family.
One of her favorite activities is going out to the field, working in her apiary and making organic jams to sell. She is proud to be a woman, to belong to Juxta Nation and to make pieces with innovation and design.