Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles

by Proyecto Impacto Consultores, AC
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Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles
Traditional Clothing for men and women
Traditional Clothing for men and women

The preservation and reproduction of the textiles of the traditional clothing of Santiago el Pinar.

 

Weaving is a living expression that persists and survives in the indigenous peoples that inhabit part of the Mexican territory, despite the industrial influences of the world. This resistance is due to the fact that grandmothers and mothers have inherited their knowledge from generation to generation.

El telar de cintura, forma parte del patrimonio cultural de los pueblos originarios de México, cuando este desaparece de la vida de un pueblo desaparece una forma de vida, una tradición, un conocimiento ancestral que lleva consigo, otras técnicas, como el uso de fibras, tintes, iconografías, preservadas fundamentalmente por  mujeres.

 Artisans of the cooperative “Choyo Spolavil” from Santiago el Pinar conducted a research process of the traditional clothing of Santiago el Pinar in the Textile Center of the Mayan World, a place that preserves a collection of more than 2,500 pieces in which you can appreciate the diversity and complexity of the designs, symbols and meanings of textiles from tojolabales, Choles, Tzeltales and Tzotziles Mayan communities from Chiapas.

This allowed them to elaborate and reproduce the traditional clothing of their community, a crucial activity that allows the women to recognize, value and preserve the backstrap loom techniques of their ancestors, thus reinforcing their knowledge and motivation as artisans, turning them into future facilitators who transmit knowledge to new generations. 

To appreciate backstrap loom weaving is to appreciate a way of life that shows us great knowledge, treasured for centuries by indigenous women artisans who are an invaluable part of the cultural fabric of our nation.

Traditional Clothing for men
Traditional Clothing for men
Traditional Clothing for women
Traditional Clothing for women
Sash
Sash

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Corte de Tela
Corte de Tela

Every day, the indigenous peoples and communities of Chiapas struggle to maintain their work processes, autonomy and dignity by safeguarding their traditions and customs. This is possible largely due to the constant collective exchange of their knowledge, wisdom and experiences that maintain the strength of their autonomy. 

 

The women artisans from Los Altos de Chiapas with whom we collaborate are guardians of this tradition and strive to preserve their knowledge by sharing it with other women and groups in the region in order to improve the processes, techniques and designs of their handicrafts and thus strengthen their own autonomy and self-management. 

 

Thanks to the support of the donations we have received from people who bet and believe in the processes of exchange of knowledge and empowerment of women through collective work and shared experience, thanks to the GlobalGiving platform, NGOimpacto can continue to support indigenous women artisans in their own processes of collective strengthening.

 

A meeting and learning space

The workshops for the exchange of artisan techniques and experiences are a space for meeting, dialogue and learning among women artisans from different regions. These workshops show us the interest of the artisans in improving their practice and raising the quality of their creations. 

 

In order to carry out these workshops for the exchange of experiences, women artisans who easily handle a specific textile technique are invited to share their expertise and methods with other groups of artisans from a different region than their own. In general, the meetings are held in the common spaces of the home of one of the artisans, where all the women of the group meet to learn the technique visually and orally, and right there, they all reproduce the technique with sample material, supporting each other and generating spaces of mutual trust and empowerment. 

 

We are very happy to know that thanks to the support we received from people committed to our cause through our campaign “Empowering Mayan women through ancient textiles”, we have been able to design, develop and implement these workshops for the exchange of experiences to continue strengthening the processes of empowerment, autonomy and self-management of women artisans from Los Altos de Chiapas. 

 

Testimony

"I see that the Tasalu'kum colleagues do their embroidery very well and learn very quickly. I taught them my stitch and they caught on quickly. It's nice to share and learn together.” - Artisan from Aguacatenango

Artesanas en taller
Artesanas en taller
Explicando la puntada
Explicando la puntada
Intercambiando experiencias
Intercambiando experiencias
Ensenando
Ensenando
Artesana de Tsajalhucum
Artesana de Tsajalhucum
Taller
Taller
Artesana de Aguacatenango
Artesana de Aguacatenango

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The empowerment of women transforms their role in the community. The objective is that in the future they will play an essential role, being the decision makers and leaders of their own productive projects.   

 Supporting and encouraging women's goals through workshops focused on business development, leadership and human development will enable them to set specific and attainable goals that will help them achieve stability and success.  

The empowerment of indigenous women as powerful agents of change could only strengthen their communities and nations in the face of the challenges they face.

I am a craftswoman because it was a knowledge that my mother passed on to me, she was taught by her mother and so it has been from generation to generation. For me it is important because it is a way to generate money. My journey with NGOimpacto has been amazing and a great learning experience. Thanks to improving our skills, we now make better products that we sell at a fairer and more ethical price. Thanks to the sales, we are able to feed our families. It has been a great help to me as an indigenous woman artisan and I am very grateful.

Gabriela Aguilar V.

Artisan from Aguacatenango, Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas.

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We occupied the space set up for women in Santiago El Pinar where a Tsotsil sub-region made up of 4 groups met, 2 groups from Aldama Cabecera, 1 group from Bashantic Larrainzar and the group from the community of Choyo, Santiago El Pinar, to facilitate 2 topics in different areas which are Technical/Productive and Human Development.

The technical/productive area provided the finishing facilitation to Madalena’s group from Aldama Cabecera, which is a follow-up to the Basic Principles and Technical Data Sheet workshops. The women were told about the importance of having a certain type of finishing depending on the pieces they make. These are some of the finishes they can use when making their product: basting, straight stitch, backstitch, chain stitch, scapular stitch, scalloped, overcasting, invisible stitch, and hemming. The women were taught the importance of making certain types of finishes depending on the pieces they make and were taught different types such as: basting, straight stitch, backstitch, chain stitch, scapular stitch, scalloped, overcasting, invisible stitch, hemstitch. These are some of the finishes they can use when making a product.

In another room of the house, a facilitation on Human Development, Self-Esteem for Entrepreneurs, was given to the artisans, explaining the importance of having good self-esteem for effective entrepreneurship. The three groups of social entrepreneurship met with the objective of reinforcing the security they should have as entrepreneurs, explaining that there are always obstacles in the way and for that reason they should be more confident in what they do, to know the importance of the work they do and not be dominated by insecurity and fear, that as women they can achieve the objective proposed as a group. In this facilitation they were shown a video showing a work experience and that they are now independent entrepreneurs, paying their own expenses and managing their own needs as a society. 

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Human development workshop
Human development workshop

Human Development

In these months we have elaborated with all the care measures some facilitations with the following topics: conflict resolution, teamwork, and self-esteem in the communities of Chojchow and Tsajalch'en belonging to the municipality of San Juan Cancuc; Aguacatenango municipality of Venustiano Carranza; Amatenango del Valle; Yaxjemel municipality of Chenalhó, Cabecera de Aldama, Choyó in Santiago El Pinar and Basahantic of the municipality of San Andrés Larráinzar.
Through these spaces we were able to reaffirm the importance of teamwork, it is always better to work collectively, we like to see how the different groups of artisans have managed to organize and support each others. We also saw the importance of thaving tools for conflict resolution that can serve them and above all that they can put them into practice when they need them.


Collaborations

Within the area of collaboration we continue to knock and open doors in order to continue with the economic reactivation of the groups of women artisans with whom we work, currently we have collaborations of different designers and projects  with the groups of artisans of Aguacatenango, Huxtán, Chenalo, Chamula, Bochilté, Santiago el Pinar and Tzajalchen, these collaborations give dignified work to approximately 173 women artisans. We continue working for the economic reactivation of women artisans in the highlands of Chiapas.

Productive technical area

Three groups of craftswomen in the community of Aguacatenango were trained in basic principles, learning how to use the tape measure and read the technical sheets. This new knowledge will help them improve aspects such as the precision of measurements and the reading of instructions for their application in the development of products.

In addition, with the women's group "Ajan" (which means corn producers) from the community of Ucuntic in the municipality of Chamula and Moni, a volunteer from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes studying fashion design in clothing and textiles, they worked on a process of experimentation with natural dyes.
Both Moni and Felipa, a member of the AJAN group, shared their knowledge through several sessions and showed the rest of the group different techniques for dyeing natural fibers with the objective of continuing and adding tools so that fellow artisans can improve or give a plus to their embroidery.

Little by little, even with all the measures of care, we continue with the different processes together with the Artisan Women of the Highlands of Chiapas. We continue with the commitment to continue accompanying their way both technically, psycho-emotional and with the work of sensitizing people about the importance of the artisanal work done by these women who in addition to preserving the ancestral knowledge, give support to their family and community.

Tape measure workshop
Tape measure workshop
Felipa and Moni sharing their knowledge
Felipa and Moni sharing their knowledge
Felipa pulling out her yarns dyed with local plant
Felipa pulling out her yarns dyed with local plant
drying the threads
drying the threads
results of the experimentation process
results of the experimentation process

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Organization Information

Proyecto Impacto Consultores, AC

Location: San Cristobal de Las Casas - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @impacto_adriana
Project Leader:
Scheherezada López
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico
$23,093 raised of $30,000 goal
 
128 donations
$6,907 to go
Donate Now
$10
USD
will provide for transportation costs to train an artisan in her community / proveera costos de transporte para capacitar una artesana en su comunidad
$20
USD
will provide for the development of an ad-hoc curricula including tool kits to train artisans / proveera para el desarrollo de una Curricula incluidos un kit de herramientas para una artesana
$25
USD
will train 1 artisan in product design and commercial practices for 1 year / proveera para la capacitacion en diseno de producto y comercial para una artesana durante un ano
$40
USD
will provide for a deep market and business research for the development of 1 business plan -an innovative social retail enterprise / proveera para el estudio de mercado a incluirse en plan comercial
$50
USD
will allow us to acquire our first high-tech mobile training center, 1 sprinter to train artisans in their communities / proveera para la compra de una sprinter de campo para capacitar a artesanas
$75
USD
will allow us to acquire our first mobile training center, plus state-of-the-art equipment to train artisans in their communities / proveera para el sprinter y el equipo de alta tecnologia
$100
USD
will equip the regional Artisans Training Center in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico / proveera recursos para la equipar el Centro de Desarrollo Regional con equipo de punta
$500
USD
will buy a real state to locate the NGO offices (per artisan) while serving 500 women artisans / proveera recursos para adquirir un bien inmueble para la ONG sirviendo a 500 artesanas en Los Altos
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