Javier Intzín López, Tenejapa, Chiapas

Javier Intzín López, Tenejapa, Chiapas

Tenejapa municipality is a Tzeltal area in the Chiapas Highlands and borders the municipalities of Chenalhó, Cancuc, Oxchuc, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Huixtán and San Juan Chamula. People here farm the vertical land and there is almost no other opportunity for making a living in the area. It is very green and beautiful due to the abundant rains in the spring.

Pajalton is the birth place of Javier Intzin, a community about 10 km from Tenejapa on a dirt road up the mountain. For the inhabitants who do not have a car, and few of them do, it is a two-hour walk to the market town of Tenejapa — public transport goes there once a week on market day.

Women do not sell their weaving and few know how to weave; some make wonderful wooden dolls with traditional costumes, but they are rarely seen. One can see a few at the state competitions but otherwise, they cannot be found.

It is in this environment that Javier Intzín López grew up. He was always interested in wool, colors and weaving and took the opportunity 20 years ago to learn how to make oriental knotted rugs when the opportunity came.

The history of these rugs is interesting. In the 70s, a French man came to Temoaya to start a rug business with the Otomi. One story tells that the Otomi started making rugs for which they gained fame in Mexico and somehow the technique was taught to the highland Mayas as well. The men from Cruzton, San Juan Chamula became famous locally for their rug-making abilities back in the 80s, but little by little, abandoned the trade. A few men still make them in San Andres, Aldama, and Tenejapa.

The rugs are made of cotton thread and 100% wool from Australia as the local wool from the criollo sheep is not of the quality needed for this type of work. All designs are from the Maya iconography that can be seen on huipiles from this area and each design is named after the town they come from.

Recently, the Instituto Casa de las Artesanias de Chiapas , thanks to La Directora Marilu Ruiz Pastrana, approved classes from the dying and textile expert Carlos Barreras Reyes to teach the group from Pajalton how to use the local plants as well as indigo and grana cochinilla from Oaxaca in their work. With the help of Carlos, investigations are also being made into the wool from Mexico state and Tlaxcala to see if the rugs can be made totally with Mexican products. The group is very eager to learn new techniques and they hope to develop a line of beautiful rugs from Pajalton.

Conocido, Pajalton

Tenejapa, Chiapas

House phone only works in the morning

967 134 23 47 Whatsapp – there is no signal in Pajalton – can only use when they are not at home -do not use in afternoon or evening