Sunday, June 28, 2009

La Tehuana

This weekend I am Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, a six hour bus ride along the coast headed south toward Chiapas State. Like last weekend´s adventure in Juquila, this town is also known for it´s history and indigineous people. Here, many women continue to use tradtitional dress - a simple blouse with lots of embroidery (either geometric or flowered patterns) and a long skirt. The fashion has adapted itself to polyester fabric and machine stitching, but the concept is the same. I saw a local fabric store which had all of it's windows full of manikins in traditional dress made from the fabrics being sold currently.

Women wear fancier dress on special days, hand embroidered on black velvet with a wide white underskirt below a velvet skirt with more embroidery. Frida Kahlo did a self portrait wearing traditional Tehuana clothes. I have seen this for sale, but not being worn. I even wandered into a store that rents the dress for special occasions. The Tejuanas are a traditionally matriarchial society, with the women owning the property and selling outside the home, while the men stay home with the children and makes things like hammocks to be sold.

The main attraction in Tehuantepec is the market which sells a the usual variety of foods a long with all the various choices for dress and other crafts. I enjoyed several hours just walking around. To get my attention, the women selling things would say, `Huera´ which means white woman.

This town has several churches, an nice city hall and an ex-convento (former monestary) that is nearly 500 years old. It seems the King of the Zapotecs, Cosijopi´ converted to Christianity around 1500 with Cortes and financed the creation of the first cathedral and monastery in this part of Mexico.

1 comment:

  1. Cool. Such an amazing adventure. No hay muchas Turistas, no? Gracias al grippe porcino.