THE ARTISANS

ISABEL, AGUSTÍN & PLUTARCO | WEAVERS | TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE

Isabel, Agustín and Plutarco (Agustín´s father) are weavers in the Zapotec community of Teotilán del Valle. Their weaving taller, Artesanias Jaguar, also houses Isabel's restaurant where she makes some of the most delicious chiles rellenos and mole negro I have ever eaten. Isabel has participated with Fundación En Vía since 2009. Her hard work, alongside the support she receives from En Vía, enabled Isabel to renovate her kitchen where she prepares comida next to the hand-operated standing looms where the weaving magic happens. The AUGUST ETTA Agustín Rust/Black Tapete is quite the beauty, woven with 100% plant-base dyed wool harvested from the region. 

I am not only amazed by the artistry this family produces in their textile design, but on a recent visit I learned Plutarco, who at the age of 89, is not only still weaving, but also playing the clarinet almost daily–a skill he's been practicing since he was 15. The braided details on the handwoven wool Agustín vest, available soon online were made by Plutarco. Artesanias Jaguar is truly a family affair, like many of the weaving operations in Teotilán del Valle. Each family member is pivotal in the multi-step weaving process necessary to arrive at a finished textile. And to make your day, here's a melody from Plutarco...

COMMUNITY: Teotilán del Valle is located in the foothills of the Sierra Juarez mountains in the Valles Centrales (Central Valleys) region of Oaxaca. It is one of the oldest Zapotec villages in the region where the Zapotec language and culture is still a mainstay of community life. The village is well known for its textiles, especially rugs, which are woven on hand-operated standing looms. The highly skilled traditions in weaving date back to 500 B.C.E. and are passed down from generation to generation.