Juan Toribio, San Juan Cotzocón, Mixe, Oaxaca
Juan Toribio has been weaving on a back-strap loom over half his lifetime. The work was handed down from generation to generation, starting with his maternal grandmother.
Juan's weaving is made in a traditional style. He first determines how long and wide the piece must be and then carefully sets up the warp on the loom. The technique of using a back-strap loom consists of securing an end of the loom to a tree or post and the other end to the waist of the weaver, maintaining the tension with the weight of the body. This is a pre-Hispanic technique that continues to be used without major changes over the centuries. The complexity of the work that can be created on this loom is limited only by the skill of the weaver, and the entire loom with the weaving in progress can be rolled up at any time and carried from place to place.
What sets the Mexican rebozos apart from shawls found in other countries is the very fine work of the endings called flecos, punta or rapacejos. The finished rebozo is removed from the loom with a few feet of threads hanging from each end. The threads are imaginatively and intricately worked into knotted patterns according to traditional designs.
Juan has never entered a concurso (judged contest).
San Juan Cotzocón, Mixe, Oaxaca
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