Bervalina García Nuñez /
Chachilhuitan is a municipality in Chiapas located in green mountains covered with pine, oak and cypress forests, and between Simojovel, Pantelhó, Chenalhó, Larrainzar and El Bosque. Its inhabitants are dedicated to agriculture. The area is very beautiful, but, unfortunately, there is an ongoing political conflict.
This area produces few handicrafts and the work is not seen in many markets like those in other municipalities. Many people from the area have migrated to other parts of Mexico or abroad to make a living. Some return to the countryside or start a small business with the help of the money they saved while working abroad.
The women, like Bervalina García Núñez, wear long huipiles of manta (cotton fabric) or tergal (good quality synthetic fabric) decorated with brocade and embossed embroidery that can also be seen in Chenalhó. The current huipil is red and white, women prefer white tergal, although some communities also use some pastel colors. The yoke is embroidered with a cross stitch in the center of the huipil, in the front, back and in the lower part they have symbols embroidered with a stitch called kejeme luch (walking stitch) with acrylic thread and it is in relief.
The cross stitch huipiles with flowered yokes represent the hills and the four cardinal points. The hearts represent peace and harmony among each of the children of the Sun God. The leaves represent the trees that are born from the union between the cross and the heart. Around the neck of the huipil, the birds represent blessings. These huipiles began to appear in the 1970s and prior to that time, women wore simple garments that were woven on the waist weaver and were brocaded.
One impediment for the women is that they do not know where to sell their work, and this limits their earnings. Grupo Luchetik was formed in 2016 as a solution to this problem. They registered with the Instituto de la Casa de la Artesanía de Chiapas, hoping that the institute would make it easier for them to be invited to competitions and fairs where they could sell their work.
The women who travel from the group earn a 10% commission on sales and their expenses are paid by the Luchetik Group. In this group only three women are allowed to travel to sell the handicrafts.
(Must be accompanied to enter town as it is a zone of conflict)
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