Huipiles from the regions of Oaxaca – a journey through cultures
Vocabulario al capítulo
muerte >< vida
muñequito = pequeño muñeco
sacerdotisa = shaman
telar de cintura m
abrir >< cerrar /ie
empezar /ie >< terminar
Adjetivos y otros
alto >< bajo
ancho >< estrecho
atrás >< delante
barato >< caro
pobre >< rico
Frida Kahlo, huipiles and traditional dresses from Oaxaca
If you've ever seen the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and her paintings you may recognize some of the huipiles from Oaxaca. Frida Kahlo had a whole collection of the traditional dresses and wore them daily to pay tribute to the Native Cultures of Mexico. The weaving and embroidery of the dresses still inspires designers from Mexico and the rest of the world.
Among the indigenous groups, the traditional dress, the huipil, is a sign of which group you belong to. At the same time, the beautiful colours, weaving and embroidery is a carrier of tradition, mythology and philosophy of life.
Más sobre...Frida Kahlo, música y textiles de Oaxaca
Frida Kahlo and her dresses
The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was also known for dressing in beautiful Mexican huipiles.
The song they play in the wedding procession in the video is a traditional Zapoteca song called Nanga ti feo. In this video you can hear it sung by the famous Mexican singer Lila Downs who herself, by the way, is known for wearing clothes from designers who work with Mexico's beautiful fabrics.
Did you know?
Lila Downs also appears in the film about Frida Kahlo's life, Frida (Julie Taymor 2002), where she plays the singer Chavela Vargas, who met Frida in her youth (see also the chapter on mariachis at Plaza Garibaldi)
More about Lila Downs: See her official website.
See a number of Mexican women display their favorite clothing from Mexico's many regions
Entre homenaje y exploitación
While some designers are inspired by the original designs and others collaborate with local artisans, there are clear examples of pure exploitation. A quite grotesque one was the French company who went as far as to claim a patent on the Mixe designs, which meant that the artisans would have to pay them to use their own embroidery designs.