Veronica Lorenzo Quiroz San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca

Veronica Lorenzo Quiroz
San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca

Veronica Lorenzo Quiroz is from the dusty Mixtec pueblo of San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca. The weavers in this area are known for one of Oaxaca's magnificent native textiles, the huipiles (woman's indigenous dress/blouse). They are steadfastly resistant to change. Numerous well-intentioned outsiders have spent years on projects to comm

Although there are many weavers here, their use of the traditional dress is all but gone. A sad commentary on "modern-times” that women who proudly wore traditional garb they created as a means to advertise their work, have given up this age-old tradition.

Most of the great textiles of Mexico will disappear from the market in the next decades as the old weavers leave us, and "modern" culture takes over. When you see these huipiles and find yourself admiring them, you might consider making your purchase now because although expensive abroad, in Oaxaca atFeria Maestros del Arte, they are definitely a bargain.

This area of Mexico is also famous for using sea-snail purple dye, squeezed from these mollusks after they have been taken off rocks in the sea (and replaced). Garments made where this dye has been used are very difficult to find and very sought after. Now a business of the Amusgo and Chontal Indians, they engage in the dangerous gathering of the dye and sell it to weavers.

The dye is prepared from the purpura patula pansa, a species of sea-snail, picked off the rocks of our coastline at low tide during the winter months. When the dyers squeeze or blow on the mollusks, they give off a foamy secretion which is rubbed onto a skein of cotton. Although it is initially colorless, contact with the air turns it yellow, green, and ultimately purple. The snails are put back on the rocks after this process, which explains why this resource has not been exhausted after so many centuries.

Shell-dyed purple cotton is combined with indigo-blue cotton and red silk, preferably dyed with cochineal, made from the tiny dactylopius coccus, a mite that feeds on the nopal cactus, for these highly valued garments.

Veronica sells her work from her home and local markets. The tourism that Oaxacan artists rely on for their livelihoods has been in jeopardy over the last year and a half due to civil unrest and travel bans that have kept the tourists away. Bringing Veronica to Feria Maestros del Arte along with other folk artists from Oaxaca will hopefully open the eyes of Feria-goers to the fact that Oaxaca is once again a safe place to travel and seek out the art that Oaxaca has become famous for.


Calle Niños Héroes SN

San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca

954 544 4030 or 954 541 3564