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Teotitlán del Valle

August 13, 2017





Teotitlán del Valle is the wool mecca of Oaxaca. A relatively small village, about an hour away by bus, Teotilán is internationally known for its Zapotec weaving tradition.

I decided to stay in Teotitlán for a week. I was expecting to encounter a rich fiber tradition. But I was not quite prepared for the vitality and ubiquity of weaving. Everyone weaves, everyone has (several) looms and there are wool skeins drying on the terraces in the middle of the day. Things are not what they used to be, of course. The pictures below, from the local museum, show wool processing in Teotitlán. That no longer happens. Handspun yarn comes from other regions of Oaxaca. Machine spun comes in trucks from Puebla. All 100% wool though, with a characteristic churra single ply texture. There are problems with wholesale prices, tourist tours and toxic dyes. Young people leave the village and there is drought. But there is always a loom working. Weaving is still very much a socially valued skill.





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