Fulbright Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico Project Weaving is by Btoxtoczko

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									             Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico 2005

                                      Project #2

                           Weaving is our Life Posters



                           Women’s Weaving Cooperative

                                Separating and Sorting

                                        Washing

                                         Carding

                                        Spinning

                                  Preparing the Dyes

                                      Natural Dyes

                                  The Dyeing Process

                                 Planning the Design

                              Symbolism in the Patterns

                                  Working the Loom



The pages that follow may be printed and posted on a bulletin board or used in a resource
notebook. Please acknowledgement the author and funding source with each use.




                Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                       L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
    Separating and Sorting

♦   When the Spanish introduced
Merino sheep to the Zapotecs in 1521,
wool replaced cotton and cactus fibers
as the primary weaving material.

♦   After the wool is sheared from the
sheep it is brought, matted and dirty, to
the market. The weavers’ first task is to
take the matted wool and separate it
into smaller pieces by color to prepare
it for washing


     Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

           L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
                     Carding
♦   The weavers use carding brushes to
clean and prepare the wool for weaving.
♦   The carding brushes have many fine
wire teeth. A clean piece of dried wool is
placed on the bottom paddle.
♦   One paddle is held in the left hand
with the needles up. The other is held in
the right hand, with the needles down.
♦   The wool is stretched, cleaned, and
thinned as the weaver pulls the upper
paddle across the lower paddle.

♦   While the women card the wool
together they talk, laugh and tell stories.

     Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

           L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
                     Spinning
♦   The cleaned and carded wool is spun
by hand using a handmade spinning wheel.
♦   Spinning is often done in pairs. One
person spins the wheel while the other
feeds the pieces of carded wool.

♦   The woman in the picture has a
practiced hand that can feel the weight of
the carded wool as it passes through her
fingers. She spins an even spool of yarn.
♦   Later she will use the spinning wheel
to unspool the yarn in order to create
loose bundles of yarn for dyeing.

     Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

           L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
     Preparing the Dyes
♦   The weavers dye wool for their rugs
once a year in the summer when the plants
used for natural dyes are most available.
♦   A weaver demonstrates the dye making
process (left). Whole cochineals (white) are in
the bowl at the bottom of the picture.
Crushed cochineals (red) are near the girl’s
right arm. The different colors of dyes in
the glasses are made from a combination
of crushed cochineal and varying amounts
of lemon juice and water.



     Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

           L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
    The Dyeing Process
♦   Dyeing the wool is time consuming
and very labor intensive work.
♦   No two batches of natural dyes are the
same as they are made from items such as
plants, bark, nut shells, and roots.
♦   With each use of the dye lot the yarn
becomes a softer shade of the original dye.
♦   Synthetic dyes are sometimes available
to the weaver. They increase the range of
colors available to the weaver.




     Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

           L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
                 Working the Loom

♦   The Spaniards taught the Zapotec men to weave on a large,

wooden, two-pedal loom in the 1500’s. Men were the dominant

weavers until the 1950’s and 60’s. Now women are weavers, too.

♦   The rugs, made by the members of the cooperative, range in

size from small (2-3.5 ft.) to large (3.5-5 ft). The smallest rug may

take two weeks to finish and the larger rugs as long as two to four

months.
                 Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                       L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
      Women’s Weaving Cooperative

♦   These women are part of an extended family of weavers in a
small village in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. They weave rugs and
table runners made of beautiful colors and intricate designs.
♦   The girls are wearing wool skirts which are woven in one
length and then seamed to form a tube. The skirt is held on with
a woven sash called a faja or banda. Sashes may be functional or
ornamental. They range from 8-17 feet long and 6-8 inches wide.
♦   The weaving process has many steps. It is a complicated and
time consuming process which results in a unique work of art.
               Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                     L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
                              Washing

♦   The separated wool is put into the bottom of a woven basket.
♦   Water is poured into the basket and then squeezed through
the wool. The dirty water is pushed out the openings in the
basket weave into the basin.
♦   This process is repeated many times until the water from the
basket runs clear. The washed wool is placed in the sun to dry on
rocks or bricks.
♦   The cleaned and dried wool is ready to card.


               Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                     L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
                         Natural Dyes
♦   The weavers make many different colors of yarn by
using elements of nature to create dyes.
♦   Indigo makes shades of the color blue.
♦   Plants, roots and leaves make shades of the color green.
♦   Nut shells and roots make shades of the color brown.
♦   Crushed, dried cochineal make a bright color of red dye.
Although it looks like white mold, it is actually a beetle-like
parasite that lives on the nopal cactus.

               Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                     L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
              Planning the Design

♦   Many weavers use designs with traditional patterns that have

been passed down through their family for generations. Others

weave interpretations of famous works of art.

♦   Pastora (right) is showing a paper pattern she has created. The

roots represent the cultural roots and traditions of the indigenous

in Oaxaca. The woman is Mother Earth, from whom all life

springs. The corn plant is a symbol of fertility and abundance.
               Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                     L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
             Symbolism in Patterns

♦   Around age 13, children begin weaving small rugs with simple

designs like those featured in this traditional pattern rug displayed

at the Women’s Weaving Cooperative of Oaxaca.

♦   The straight lines represent the paths of life.

♦   The inverted triangles represent life’s hills and valleys.

♦   The white diamond pattern represents the tears of happiness

and sadness that fall during one’s lifetime.
                Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                      L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
“We are a family of weavers. Weaving is

our work. Weaving is our community.

Weaving is our way of life.”

                                                                      ---Pastora
                                            Women’s Weaving Cooperative
                                                                      Oaxaca, Mexico
                                                                           July 2005

           Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                 L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz
For Teaching Projects developed by the
participants in the Fulbright-Hays Summer
         Seminars in Mexico go to:
    http://www.COMEXUS.org.mx/




          Project #2-Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in Mexico, 2005

                L.Thompson, Ph.D lthompson@edvantage.biz

								
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