Tejadora (weaver) of the Famous Chiapas Textiles
Pascuala is a weaver from Zinacantán, Chiapas. She learned to weave on a back-strap loom when she was twelve years old, taught by her mother and sister. This is a pre-Hispanic technique that continues to be used without major changes over the centuries.
The people of Zinacantán prefer being a closed community. As with other indigenous communities in this region, they can be identified by the clothes they wear: in this case distinctive purple, blue and pink predominate. All the clothes they wear are handmade locally. The wool from the sheep, cleaning, dyes and knitting are all done "in-house": nothing is purchased externally. Sheep are sacred here - they are treated, protected and mourned when passing away as any other member of the family. If you are driving through this region take extreme precautions with sheep that may wander into the road.
The clothing woven by the men and women of Zinacantán have very bright colors that change season to season. For a long time, the main color was predominantly an intense Mexican rose. Currently more subdued tones are used, especially black, dark green and dark blue.
One of the most spectacular pieces of clothing made in Zinacantán is the marriage huipil called k'uk'umal chilil or "feathered huipil". At the bottom, feathers from white hens are attached. This is strictly a ceremonial dress used exclusively for weddings
Pascuala has managed to organize a cooperative of 20 women, many of them family, to work together to save expenses and giving mothers time to do their normal work in the home while making money to bring into their homes at the same time. They have also published a book, “Revelations of Mexican Popular Art.”