Mexico, Nohui, Weaving
NOHUI is a Mexican organisation that honours the work of traditional textile artisans. They value and celebrate artisans that keep alive the biocultural heritage of their country. They teach and educate about artisanal processes: from the planting of the native cotton, to the thread that is then woven on the backstrap looms. They use many ceremonial, pre-Hispanic natural dyes such as the purple snail pansa, the grana cochinilla and indigo. Thanks to these processes, unique pieces such as huipiles, cotones, rebozos, among others, are created. All the textiles are eco-friendly and promote responsible consumption and sustainable care of our planet earth.
In the community of San Juan Colorado on the coast of Oaxaca, a community called Jamiltepec is still dedicated to the sowing and cultivation of organic cotton on small plots of land. They maintain production of the native cotton, such as white, coyuchi and green. The last two are in danger of extinction due to high temperatures, a product of climate change. They work with handmade thread to make the traditional men's clothing consisting of the 'calzon' and the cotton, traditional pieces that are still worn on a daily basis. In this community, 90% of the women are dedicated to making traditional clothing on backstrap looms.
For the creation of most fabrics, native, organic cotton is cultivated. This cotton is made into thread with the malacate, a pre-Hispanic instrument. After this step, the threads are starched with corn gruel so that they do not break when woven with the backstrap loom technique. The craft is inherited from generation to generation. A work that identifies them as people who have a cosmovision and live in harmony with the land that surrounds them. They work with the traditional structure of the costume, which consists of squares and rectangles.
To follow the story of Nohui, find them on social media here.