Artisteo Martínez Martínez, Tapijulapa, Tabasco

The Pueblo Magico town of Tapijulapa is in the Sierra de Tabasco and has a unique art form that can only be found practiced here. This is the root of the mutusay, a natural fiber similar to wicker, with which the skill of the artisan can weave chairs, tables, furniture of all types.

Mutusay weaving was only started 40 years ago by Benito Veloz, a primary school teacher, who without tools, began to work with the branches that hung from the trees — mutusay. Today, mutusay has become the most important economic livelihood of Tapijulapa, the only place where this raw material is used

The mutusay is gathered by peasants who cut it especially for the artisans during times when they do not have to work harvesting their land. They sell a roll of mutusay for five pesos — to weave a rocking chair, around 100 rolls are needed.

Aristeo Martínez Martínez was born in 1969 in Barrio la Loma, Villa Tapijulapa, Tacotalpa, Tabasco. He has been a mutusay artisan since he was 15 years old. His love for his craft began in observing how the master craftsman José Torija Vallina, designed his handmade products in his workshop where Aristeo worked for five years.

Aristeo also learned different techniques — winding, weaving in straight and curved lines, finishing in double braid, open-work weaving and lost weaving. In 2010, he opened her craft workshop called Taller Artesanal Villa Luz.

Currently, his handicrafts are marketed locally and nationally. The development of his skills as an artisan has always been in innovating new handcrafted pieces focused on the use of traditional techniques and adaptable use for the customer with an added value to the Mexican craftsmanship made by the Mexican artisan. Aristeo was the winner of the “Excelencia
Artesanal 2021”
, in the category Maestro Artesano Contemporary.

Mexican craftsmanship is important to Aristeo, because it helps him to develop his creative ideas which distinguish each piece. His team is made up of eight family members where the work is divided into different work areas. He feels it is important for the public to understand the many labors involved in producing handmade items such as mutusay:

  • carpentry
  • elaboration of the structure base
  • tying
  • weaving
  • detailing
  • varnishing
  • exhibition and
  • sales

Mutusay is cool, easy to repair and it is ideal for hot climates as it can withstand high temperatures, as well as rain. However, promotion is needed for the furniture of Tapijulapa to become known. Social media has been their main avenue of promoting this work. Some opportunities have presented themselves, but were not to the benefit of the artisans. Click
on this video’s link to learn more about mutusay

Taller Artesanal Villa Luz

Carretera a Oxolotan s/n

Colonia: La loma

Tapijulapa , Tabasco  86890

932 108 28 43 WA

casa: 932 108 77 66