María Sántiz Nuñez, Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas
Maria Sántiz, a Tzotzil woman was born in Magdalena, Chiapas. She learned how to weave and brocade at the age of 15 from her grandmother. Her mother was not a weaver, but fortunately for her, her grandmother was very good and able to teach her when María realized she would need to make her own clothes. María started teaching her two daughters at a much younger age and the tradition continues. She works with a group of 14 other women, all family, friends or neighbors.
There are two types of clothes in Magdalena. The regular huipil either for everyday use and fiestas, the other is ceremonial huipil that is worn on special occasions when the community calls on you to participate in the management of the town. Since there is no separation of duties between the church and the public, when you marry women may be called upon to take care of the saints in the church with their husbands or to carry out other types of civil duties.
Women are recognized by the way they wear their hair or their special ceremonial huipil. The ceremonial huipiles are quite long and can be made of 100% wool or cotton with wool brocade. Brocade means that the designs are woven in the fabric and not embroidered. Some of the wool is dyed using natural plants and sometimes commercial dyes are used.
The huipiles for fiestas and every day are woven with cotton thread called mix (mish). The present ones are red and white. The finer, more expensive huipiles are woven with one thread, making the fabric very soft, and the lower-priced ones are woven with 2 or 3 threads giving them a more rustic, thicker look. The brocades are usually red with perhaps other colors, and they all have the distinctive traditional symbols of Magdalena. Each huipil is a story — some of the women can regale you with stories about the Maya universe, monkeys, saints, toads, corn, etc. — all symbols of the Maya mythology or Catholic religion.
The Magdalena huipiles are extremely durable and comfortable as they are 100% cotton. In addition to making huipiles, Sra. María makes purses, pouches, table runners, pillow cases as well some of the traditional jewelry made and worn by the women of Magdalena and the hats worn by the men.
Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas
967 115 2566 cell & Whatsapp-son Alberto Jiménez Sántiz (The reception can be very poor in the mountain so it may take a few days for the peope to be able to communicate back. Leave a message on whatsapp and Alberto Sántiz will answer when he gets some reception)