I’m from an ancient place where my parents, my grandparents and all of our ancestors were born and lived their lives. The communities surrounding my village have been trading and buying from each other for centuries. The clothing we wear, our baskets, pots, mats and blankets are all made by us with materials of our land: cotton, silk, wool, palm leaves and clay.
We are fed on the generational stories and myths of our elders. The food on our table comes from the land around us and the meals we eat are made with the same ingredients my ancestors had on their tables. The language we speak, one of 16 Zapotec dialects, connects us to our forefathers. In our village the traditional ways of making things persists. Since the day we are born we are part of this ancestral way of life, deeply connected to our land, the food, our language, rituals, and ceremonies.One of my childhood memories is waking up early to hike up into our mountains along with my siblings to collect the plants and herbs we needed for making our dyes. As we hiked up into the hills my parents would tell us stories about each dye plant and how we can infuse them into our weavings. The design stories are part of our oral tradition and we learn them from our parents, just the way they learned from their grandparents.
Weaving Oaxaca is the first art and travel immersion program owned and operated by a family of indigenous Zapotec artists in Teotitlán del Valle. Oaxaca. At the heart of everything we do lies our desire to share, inspire and learn together. That is also our tradition. We invite you to be part of our residential workshops and travel program, to study, live and experience our culture and tradition directly from us, the Zapotec people.
Through Weaving Oaxaca I’m providing an opportunity to experience what it is like to be from a place where the ancestral way of life and ancient ways of making things still exist, and to have a rare opportunity to work with great masters of folk art. We will visit museums where I have exhibited my original work, the old temple of my ancestors, and learn from my mother and sister about the cuisine that Oaxaca is known for. When you’re with us you are helping us sustain our culture while you contributing directly to our community’s future by helping sustain our lives as artists and native Oaxacans.
To learn more about our family, our weaving studio and our cultural heritage, please visit www.porfiriogutierrez.com.