One of the most prolific branches of Mexican folk art,
textile production reflects an interweaving of Native and
Spanish traditions. Production begins by harvesting crops
of pre-Hispanic origin, such as cotton. Sheep and silkworms,
introduced to Mexico by the Spanish, are also raised for wool
and silk. Once harvested, artists card, spin, spool, dye,
and weave the raw materials into sarapes, woolen rugs, embroidery,
traditional Native attire, and clothing of mixed ethnic origin.
Textile production is deeply rooted in tradition. The Maya
of Chiapas spin, set looms, weave, and make measurements based
on units of 20, the foundation of ancient Mayan mathematics.
Hand woven fabrics also incorporate designs passed down from
generation to generation, preserving the myths and history
of the artistsí communities. Woolen gabanes (mens
overcoats) from Huepayan, Morelos; blankets from Victoria,
Guanajuato, and Navojoa, Sonora; and sashes from Samachique,
Chihuahua, all reflect the endurance of ancient designs and
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