NY Botanical Gardens: Mixtec Weavers of Oaxaca

New York Botanical Gardens
August 29, 2015
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Saturday, August 29; 1 p.m.
Ross Hall

Join us for a special screening of two powerful short documentaries about an endangered purple sea snail and the dye it produces, which is used in the traditional weavings created by Mixtec women in a remote village in Oaxaca, Pinotepa de Don Luis. Each of the screenings will be followed by a translated discussion with the people featured in the films, who will also demonstrate their craft of spinning and weaving. This is the first time these weavers and their wares have ever made an appearance in the United States. Their creations will be available for purchase during the event and at Shop in the Garden, with proceeds directly benefitting their community and cause.

Additionally, Marta Turok, Award-winning Mexican anthropologist and co-author of Self-portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo, along with immigrants rights attorney Patrice Perillie, Director of Mexican Dreamweavers, will share the story of the endangered marine snail, Purpura pansa, which lives off the coast of Mexico and is known for its tixinda purple dye. The snails are milked to create dye for hand-spun thread that is then woven on backstrap looms into colorful cloth that is coveted by textile aficionados around the world. As an advocate for the preservation of their habitat, Ms. Turok speaks of the snails’ endangered species status and current threats to the millennial tradition of the Mixtec community. Ms. Perillie will share the process and values of womens’ labor that goes into making each weaving, as well as the importance of supporting indigenous weaving cooperatives.