These amazing bird masks were purchased at an art fair in Chiapas. But, you’re thinking, these don’t look like Mexican masks. They look more Central American. And, guess what? You’re right. There is a mask maker from Costa Rica living in Chiapas making these incredible, one-of-a-kind pieces. They use a weaving technique more commonly seen in baskets. The color combinations, the design of the heads, those incredible beaks…all created by an artisan with a beautiful vision. These are unusual and would make a fantastic collection. They are available in the Zinnia Folk Arts online shop or click on the photo to take you there.
Winston Churchill said many things well. And he commented on many things. But who knew he had an opinion about color? The esteemed Mr. Churchill said, “I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”
This post is in honor of the poor browns. They tend to take a back seat to their fellow colors, especially in Mexico. These textiles were discovered at the bottom of the pile, underneath the pinks, roses, reds, yellows, bright oranges and greens. They are a quieter bunch. I do think they have a certain beauty. But they don’t always stand out. They are good listeners. They don’t talk unless they have something to say. They shine when they are on their own. They never compete for attention.
Many of these camino de mesas (table runners) or placemats are woven of a natural brown cotton called “coyuche,” a word that comes from the Nahuatl word for coyote. On the other hand, it is possible that it is white thread dyed to look like coyuche, according to research done by an amazing textile archivist by the name of Karen Elwell. Her many photos of Mexican textiles and clothing are always instructional. Her Flickr photostream is right here.
The photos below are the textiles I currently have in the shop. CLICK on the photograph to take you to the shop. Some are in the online store, but if not, just send me an email on the form at the bottom and I’ll let you know if it’s available!
I couldn’t resist with the last photo. Brilliant color with the poor brown.
Hello New Shop! We just received these, and many more, vintage Guatemalan and Mexican huipiles, dresses and blouses. The colors are stunning and they can be worn or hung on a wall. Either way you will love the color and the amazing handwork.
Look for them when we reopen in our new location, 826 West 50th in Minneapolis, in late April or early May!
Or you are welcome to inquire before then through this form…
I love color! And I’m so ready for it when it’s 1 degree and snowing. These very pretty and colorful scarves or runners were handmade by Jolom Mayatik in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Jolom Mayatik is one of several women’s cooperatives in Chiapas promoting the amazing back strap weaving skills of so many highland women.
The scarves (or table runners) come in several different colors and are 11″ wide by 68″ long. The color is so exuberant!
Here are a few more shots of color…Enjoy!
These scarves are available in the Zinnia Folk Arts online shop, right here.