This cute mini handbag from Mexico is handwoven of cotton on the traditional telar de cintura, or backstrap loom.
Accentuated with two tassels at the front, the bag opens with a zipper to a single-compartment lined interior.
Bag: 12 cm H x 21 cm W x 6 cm D
Handles: 28 cm L
Drop length: 13 cm from strap to bag
100% cotton; nylon lining
Like other textile artisans in my hometown in the Oaxaca Valley, Mexico, I weave on the backstrap loom. My mother began teaching me when I was only six, and most women here weave to honor our Zapotec ancestors in the region.
We decided to continue our ancestral tradition. My husband weaves the fabrics and I transform the material, sew it into handbags, home décor and fashion accessories. I add the clasps and snaps, and do the finishing work. I also focus on selling our work.
We have worked on the waist loom for a few years now, this fills us with great satisfaction since it has allowed us to preserve this beautiful art of our parents, who have been awarded honorable mentions and prizes in Popular Art competitions in the State.
But the most rewarding satisfaction is to provide employment for people who really need it. Such is the case of Lucia, who helps us weave and has a deaf and dumb son who depends economically on her and her income with us. The help of this great friend whom we consider one of the family; it gives us great satisfaction.
We've formed a wonderful team, and work with brothers and sisters, in-laws, some elderly people in our community, and other artisans here who had no source of extra income. We are also teaching our daughter Ixhel Itamar, born in 2004, and our son Fernando Daniel, born in 2007. We want them to value our cultural roots and to carry on this important activity.
When we first started out, we looked for places to sell our work and even the smallest sale excites us, because it lets us bring food to our family.
Today, we focus our effort and dedication to researching new fibers, dyes and tools that improve our weavings. We work hard to create quality designs and take care to see that the materials are the best.