Clothing is also about identity.
In a mountainous region in the southwestern part of Oaxaca known as La Mixteca Baja live the Triqui. The Triqui practice bride price, that is, the exchange of women for money or commercial goods. This patriarchal treatment of women as property has been interpreted by some to be like slavery or prostitution. And the women have started to rebel.
In recent years, La Mixteca Baja has become increasing violent provoking people to leave the area and with it the indigenous Triqui language spoken only in Oaxaca.
The difficult terrain and lack of water limit agriculture. So, to boost the economy, the indigenous people have turned to crafts. They make baskets, morrales (handbags) and huipiles.
Using traditional weaving methods, the Triqui women make incredible huipiles using primarily red threads. Huipiles are made only by women and worn only by women. They are made with backstrap looms which means that the width of the fabric and three strips are sewn together to make a huipil. It takes four-six months to make a typical huipil.
A huipil is full of symbolic figures such as butterflies, pines, birds, jugs, etc. The ribbons that adorn the huipil symbolize the rainbow.
Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved
Related: The Triqui presence in California’s San Joaquin Valley + + Triqui de San Juan Copala (Spanish) + El Huipil Triqui de Chicahuaxtla (Spanish) + Selling Brides: Native Mexican Custom or Crime? + Triqui woman finds freedom weaving huipiles