Today is the Halloween for most of you all. Here in Mexico it is the day before Muertos. There’s lots of getting ready and cleaning and arranging going on.
We were out and about doing tourista things this morning. Our destination was Teotitlan de Valle, home to the most famous of the Zapotec weavers.
We started in the show room of a family that has long ties back to Jane’s family in the San Joaquin valley. This is pretty typical for a weaver’s show room.
Our second stop was at Isaac Vasquez Garcia’s. He is the best known of the weavers outside of Mexico.
The loom are handmade and according to my friend Demetrio last about 20 years under hard use.
Issac demonstrated all of the steps int he process of making a Zapotec rug. here he is holding a bowl of grana. Grana is the dried form of the cochineal bug that is used to produce the red dyes.
Much of Isaac Vasquerz’s work is figurative rather than patterned. Here is shows us how he works a design in small sections across the loom.
Every year I go into Teotitlan chanting “I don’t need another rug. I don’t need another rug.” Um, yeah, right, like that works. This lovely gold deer is coming home with us.
After the weaving demo but before lunch we went to see Vivian and her daughter-in-laws make candles. These giant beeswax candles are decorated with flowers, fruits, birds, and angels, all made out of sheets of beeswax. traditionally these candles are used in betrothal ceremonies. The groom’s family takes the candles, bread, and fruit to the house of the bride’s family. The party starts at 6AM and lasts all day.
For lunch we returned to Isaac Vasquez’s house to eat tamales. We arrived as another group was finishing watching the demo. Lunch time means that the households sons were around. Picking oranges from the trees in the courtyard is a good way to impress the girls.
Before heading back in to town via the scenic route we stopped to walk through the cemetery near the church. Families have been spending the last day or two decorating the graves in preparation for the vigils.
Now it’s 7:30 (or so) in the evening on Oct 31st. In a little while we’ll go to visit friends, to eat a little and have a drink. Then back to the house to nap until 1:30 AM when we’ll leave for Atzompa and all night vigil in the cemetery there. There will be another vigil on the night of the 1st/2nd in the cemetery here in the city.
This is the altar that we (all) have built here in the Casa in honor of Thorny Robison and all of the others that we miss.