My second week in Oaxaca went by quickly.
I was able to start my experimenting with backstrap and have since completed one piece! In addition to that, Norma taught me more figures on my other loom. I am loving this new technique and how involved the weaver’s body must be.
The second week concluded with a series of adventures. We went to Teotitlan de Valle on Friday, which is a community where a lot of weaving and wool rugs originate. If you know me at all, this was a field day for me. I purchased hand-spun and dyed wool yarn from a local woman. Yay! Saturday we decided to take a tour to see a few different sites. Our first stop was the Tule tree. This tree is approximately 2000 years old and is 58 meters wide and 47 meters tall. This tree is HUGE. It was amazing. I took so many photographs of the details and different forms on the tree. We then went back to Teotitlan de Valle and we went to a presentation of the process of carding, spinning and dying wool. They let me try carding the wool and it was much more difficult that I imagined it to be. This made me want an alpaca farm very badly.
After that stop, we went to one of the most magical places on the face of the earth. Hierve del Agua. This is a place with mineralized waterfalls, one of 3 in the entire world. This is one of those places that you are standing there and thinking is this even real? Some of my photos look like another dimension or planet. The water bubbles up from springs and reacts with minerals to form cavernous patterns and of course the large cascades. Definitely one of my favorite places on earth.
We then went to Mitla, which is an archeological site with a Zapotec palace and other buildings. Our guide was explaining the process of the intricate patterning on the buildings and how there is no glue or cement holding anything together. They calculated and filled spaces with dirt so that when an earthquake came, everything remained intact. The patterns are all so beautiful.
Going into this week, I will be working on new weavings. I am starting to investigate rain and prayers for rain. Rain keeps popping up, so I’m digging into it. Norma mentioned that the wedding huipil (a very nice blouse) that girls wear features the God of rain. And I also read in a book that some people use weaving as a prayer for rain. I then started to investigate the biblical meanings of rain and asking for rain from God. Rain could mean growth for crops, fertility, cleansing, etc. so many things.
So if you have any tidbits about rain, shoot me an email!