In the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, the Mendoza family is not only one of the master weavers in this small village, but also owners of Restaurante Tlamanali which serves traditional Zapotec dishes. The Zapotecs, along with the Mixtecs, are the oldest and largest groups of indgenous people in Oaxaca and both are also two of the first civilizations in all of Mexico.
Abigail MendozaClara, the matriach of the Mendoza family, cards and spins the wool needed for the family’s weaving.Abigail crushes cochineal on the metate to make the red color used for dying the wool. Cochineal is a bug that lives on cacti that when crushed makes a red coloring.Here Abigail boils the wool in water with the crushed cochineal and it is set with lime juice. Some of the wool dyed with natural ingredients. Julie Anderies stands with Abigail’s niece who wove the rug that Julie purchased.
Photo credits: Julie Anderies