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New Museum Exhibition - Empowering Threads: Textiles of Jolom Mayaetik

New exhibition highlights handwoven textiles and artisans from Los Altos de Chiapas, Mexico

A unique and dedicated community of Mayan artisans are weaving brilliantly colored textiles in Los Altos de Chiapas, Mexico.  Working on backstrap looms, these weavers utilize methods passed down through generations to combine old-world symbolism with new colors and designs.  Their most striking textiles are the huipiles woven as ceremonial garments and women’s attire.  Huipiles are traditional, loose-fitting women’s blouses, handwoven by panel and sewn together flat.  Mayan huipiles vary in style throughout the culturally distinct regions of Chiapas and distinguish the wearer by their locale.  Blouses in the blusa Maya style are modern adaptations, with traditional symbols rendered in bright colors never envisioned by their makers’ ancestors. 

Jolom Mayaetik, which translates to “Women Who Weave” from Mayan Tzotzil, was founded in 1996 and is one of the most progressive weaving cooperatives in Chiapas.  The organization promotes sustainable economic development for indigenous women, in a democratic structure run collectively by general assemblies and a popular vote.  Unlike more traditional cooperatives in Mexico, the weavers of Jolom Mayaetik are also advancing human rights through educational programs, cultural empowerment, and political mobilization.  Committed to improving the lives of indigenous women, members of the Jolom Mayaetik are weaving with a powerful, collective voice.  This exhibition features textiles woven by Jolom Mayaetik artisans from the municipalities of San Andrés Larráinzar, Pantelhó, and Oxchuc.  

Special thanks to Charlene M. Woodcock, Jolom Mayaetik SCS, and K’inal Antsetik A.C. for making this exhibition possible.

Visit http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/empowering-threads

For more information:  #EmpoweringThreads @SFOMuseum

Empowering Threads: Textiles of Jolom Mayaetik is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport.  This exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from August 26, 2017 to April 1, 2018. There is no charge to view the exhibition.