Juana Victoria Hernández Gómez, Grupo X-Chilul Pak
San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas
San Juan Cancuc is located in the highlands of Chiapas, in a beautiful mountainous area, not far from Tenejapa or Oxchuc. The area is still a very agricultural and traditional Tzeltal area and they grow corn, chiles, and beans for home consumption and for sales, they also grow organic shade-grown coffee.
Their weaving style can be seen in the clothes they wear. The men wear a long white tunic with a red waistband and very narrow sleeves. The top of the tunic and the top of the sleeves are decorated with bright colors in weaving and embroidery. The colors vary slightly each year, but red and pink tones predominate, although sometimes you will also see blue.
Women wear a long white huipil also decorated in bright colors. The huipil is worn over a long navy blue skirt held up with a belt. Both men and women wear flat bags called moral of bright colors and decorated with cross stitches.
Although beautiful, this area has very few opportunities to earn income, so the women's embroidery work is extremely important for family survival.
The Grupo Artesanía X-Chilul Pak is composed of 20 women and was established in 2011. They were fortunate to be able to use a building donated by Juana's father as their headquarters and store. This has brought their work together in one central location, which has facilitated their display and sale of their work.
The women divide their time working at home and tending the store. They use the back-strap loom to weave their weaving and brocade. The traditional material used is cotton and acrylic yarn, however, this group is also reviving the brocaded cotton of the past. They use natural materials to weave the wool of their best pieces and use high-quality yarns like Omega and Rio Blanco so the colors don't run.
They will soon learn to weave cotton from Carlos Barrera a supplier, who is one of the teachers at the Feria this year. The women make huipiles, blouses, rebozos, ponchos, mañanitas and many other items.
The women take turns when they can, to travel and sell. They are paid a small fee since they cannot work while they are away and the group pays the travel costs. The women have agreed to earn approximately $20 pesos/hour, which is a common wage for weavers in this region.
Cancuc means the song of the birds and it is believed that the traditional designs on the huipil represent the song of the birds, the four dots around the neck and represent the teeth of the jaguar and or the four cardinal points. Some modern designs can be seen in the work of younger women, such as flowers and hearts and other non-traditional designs. The colors of the huipiles change with fashion, but in general the youngest women are the ones with the most colorful huipiles.
Grupo Artesania X-Chilul Pak
(Rumbo al Hospital de Salud)
San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas
961 129 5869 cell Whatsapp y messenger