Teˇfila Palafox Herranz
Teófila Palafox Herranz was born in 1956 in San Mateo del Mar, Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Her mother tongue is the Ombeayiüts or Huave.
She is a master weaver and has also been a teacher, a midwife, and has had several workshops in order to teach her community weaving and other crafts. She learned to weave from her mother, who taught her when she was eight-years old — weaving at first napkins that were used in daily life and for ecclesiastical services in the community.
Teófila has one son and two daughters, Juan Echeverría Palafox, Alma Ruth Echeverría Palafox and Gloria Mbajnüx Echeverría Palafox, who have studied to have a better life, but who have not forgotten their roots as ikoots, their language, art, traditional medicine and their traditional dress.
During the 80s, the Instituto Nacional Indigenista granted some of the weavers certain credits and they began to weave more and attend markets and exhibits where they showed their magnificent pieces and sold them. Teófila also participated in some film projects and documentaries such as “Tejiendo Mar y Viento”, “La Vida de una Familia Ikoots” and “Las Ollas de San Marcos”, documentaries that address life in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Currently, Teófila presides a group of weavers called “Natsojpüy”, that work on the back-strap loom and dye the cotton they use with natural dyes. They also continue with the preservation of their traditional huipiles. We hope you enjoy her presence and the pieces from the cooperative.