Monserrat Maricela Raymundo Sánchez, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca
Monserrat Maricela Raymundo Sánchez is a descendant of a family that has been dedicated to making immortal flower handicrafts for five generations. Due to a lack of work in the 1920s and an interest in innovating the use of the immortal flower, from that time forward, the Sánchez family have put their mark on traditional folk art. Their techniques and designs have been passed down through four generations. Monserrat learned the techniques from her paternal grandparents. Creating and working with flor inmortal (dried flowers) preserves the cultural heritage of her people and family and it is a way to express her feelings about her culture.
The art of flor inmortal originated in Monserrat’s community, however due to the lack of sales, most artisans no longer practice this art — presently only her family works 100% of their time. Five people work in the family taller (workshop) with Monserrat — four women and two men and each understands and is involved in the entire process of producing their flor inmortal — from going to the field to sow, harvest and collect the flowers, to creating the bases using reeds and dry leaves, and then finally decorating the bases with the dried flowers.
Reeds, banana leaves and some pins are essential materials to weave the Immortal flower, a laborious process that requires a lot of patience and time, since it can take up to five days to make a small figure. These pieces, in addition to being handcrafted (without dyes, glues or added chemicals) can last an average of 30 years.
Colors such as reddish, orange, yellow and white, the immortal flowers are used to decorate the typical baskets of the Oaxacan chinas (Oaxaca's version of the Chinas Poblanas of Puebla) the altars of the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) y la Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes). A small white flower, called biushita (small in Zapotec) is the Raymundo Sánchez family’s business name.
A Sánchez family entry was the 2020 winner of the El Arte Popular Ante el Coronavirus with the theme La Vida del Campo (Country Life), in support of the State Institutions of Culture (AIEC) 2020, which aims to encourage, strengthen, promote and disseminate the creation of popular art in the State of Oaxaca. Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. Various family members have continually won awards in the annual FOFA (Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art) Concurso, held yearly in Oaxaca.
Calle Independencia 57
San Antonino Castillo Velasco
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