Rutgers - Science Summer Abroad 2010
Nine Science Undergraduate Students Around the World

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Teotitlan, a weaving village

We went to Teotitlan today, which is a weaving village. We spent the day at a Zapotec women's weaving cooperative, where we learned about the troubles the women faced when they first came together to weave cooperatively, how they make the yarn and dyes, how they weave the rugs, and what kind of symbols go into the patterns in the rugs.
We also learned about traditional Zapotec healing, which we had learned a bit about when reading Susto. One of the women was nice enough to give us a "limpia", which is a spiritual cleansing of sorts. She took us into her house, closed the doors to block out light, and instructed us to sit in a circle. She lit some sort of incense and went around rubbing us with herbs and blowing smoke onto us. It provided good meditation and really helped us calm down. It seems everyone felt a sense of lightness and cleanliness afterwards, even though none of us truly believed our spirits were cleansed. Afterwards, we had lunch with the woman, which was delicious traditional Oaxacan food- fried chilies with cheese, hot salsas, beans, etc. I couldn't resist the temptation to buy one of the beautiful rugs, so I gave in and bought a beautiful colorful rug. The woman who made it told me it represented the different elements of life- tears of happiness, the walk of life, days, months, and years. It will be a nice addition to my new house in New Brunswick!
Our day at Teotitlan was a lot of fun and taught us how difficult it is for people, especially women, to make their way to success. I have so much respect for these women, who have had so much working against them, including their whole village, because they were women creating lives for themselves independently, without men. I'm so glad they overcame sexism in their village and have become the successful independent talented artisans they are today.

No comments:

Post a Comment