Maleni Cruz Uc Uc, Bécal, Campeche

Maleni Cruz Uc Uc, Bécal, Campeche

Bécal, in Campeche, is known mainly for its palm weavings. From hats woven with thick strips of huano, which can be woven in a few hours, to finer hats of jipi, which can take up to three weeks to make, and "curiosities", small birds, skulls, sombreritos and other small and varied creations of the same material.

The huano and jipi palms are the raw material used to make hats. Before the palm leaves open, they are cut and torn into strips; in two, three or four parts, depending on how thin the weaving is intended to be. They are dried or dehydrated, treated with sulfur to whiten them, and are prepared in bunches, which can be dyed with natural dyes or anilines. In dry weather, the bunches are left a day before starting work in the caves that are dug in the courtyards of the houses. The humidity in them allows them to remain flexible and the weavers can manipulate the fiber with ease and without breaking it.  Once woven, the hats are taken with someone to be "ironed" in a metal hat press, which is heated to approximately 120 degrees Celsius and on which the hat is placed and pressed for a few minutes to take its final shape.

Maleni Cruz Uc, granddaughter of Don Andres Uc Dzul (1910-2004), one of the great jipi weavers in this town whose Panama hats were famous for their fine weaving, learned the trade from her grandfather, and has become one of the best weavers in this town.  This year will be the second time she participates in the Fair and promises to bring a great variety of hats and other "curiosities".

Calle 32 No. 175

Bécal, Campeche, Mexico

996 109 1862 celular

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