Concha Meza Pérez & Feliciano Méndez Intzin
Concha and Feliciano are a friendly couple specializing in borlas or pompons. Our Chiapas Artist Coordinator, Brigitte Ordoquy, noticed a beautiful set of them at the Concurso Fray Bartolomé and had to meet the people who made those beautiful huge pompons. They are traditional adornments for men´s hats in some communities in the highlands of Chiapas.
Tenejapa is a Tzeltal municipality where these adornments on hats can be seen, but you can also find them in San Andres Larrainzar a Tzotzil municipality of the Chiapas Highlands. The traditional hats in Tenejapa are made of palm in San Juan Chamula and the hats are decorated by families in Tenejapa with ribbons and pompons. The traditional pompons are made of wool dyed with natural dyes. As people got interested in these ornaments, many artisans started making them with acrylic yarn in bright colors.
As a pompon mania started, the size of the pompons went from tiny to enormous and took over the designers´ stores as well as the artisanal markets. Not all pompons are made the same. The high-quality ones are very thick and smooth with no little thread coming out of the sphere. They are very full and cannot be flattened. Wool being more expensive than acrylic yarn, the wool ones are more expensive and are also usually dyed with natural dyes so they have softer colors.
Pompons are now the rage in San Cristóbal de las Casas and they can be seen not only on the traditional hats but hanging on walls of houses, luggage, bags, Christmas trees, curtain ties, necklaces, bracelets, earring — use your imagination.
Join in the pompon mania at the Feria and have fun these beautiful creations made by Concha and Feliciano! Pompon is a term for a decorative tuft of material such as wool or ribbon. The original spelling was pompon, which came to English from French in the 19th century, but the misheard form pompom has gradually gained ground. Today, the two are used about equally in English.