Our favorite Mexican state of Chiapas, how we love thee so. When it comes to food, this may not be such a go-to place as Oaxaca, but we love the bio-diversity of the state, it's people & culture oh so much. From mountains, highlands, canyons, to deep jungles, this state is home to one of the largest population of indigenous peoples in Mexico, mostly comprised of Mayan descendant Tzotzil & Tzeltzal groups. It's crazy how little many people including myself know about indigenous cultures in Mexico which comprise about 22% of the population & who's handicrafts are very much what the normal tourist identifies with as Mexico since it's mostly indigenous groups that all the coolest souvenirs are made by. In one way, being in Mexico, I think about how special it is that they still have a connection to their heritage in these indigenous groups that very steadfastly maintain their language, dress, culture & way of life as much of the world has severely decimated their own native populations. For example, Native Americans only make up 0.9% of the United States population... It's bittersweet though in Mexico as it is in the United States as the indigenous people of Mexico are predominantly poor & heavily marginalized. As we've traveled through most of Mexico in the past 3 months, we've been fortunate to meet & buy directly from these makers & from many collectives helping to support & educate these very important indigenous populations throughout Mexico. Chiapas in particular is a state that is dominated by the Indigenous population & also the most rebellious as it is home to the Zapatista movement which is an indigenous army that unites the many indigenous cultures standing as the resistance against the Mexican Government demanding work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, liberty, democracy, justice and peace. As of now, the Government & Zapatista's have a peace treaty to mind each other where the government can govern Mexico proper & the indigenous people will govern themselves in the mountains.
The indigenous people of Mexico are one of the true treasures that we've experienced while here, though they aren't as friendly or open as the Mestizo Mexican but the indigenous people warrant their reclusivity as trust doesn't come so easily for them. I feel so fortunate nonetheless to be able to have worked with these people, see how they live & even share a few laughs as they don't just represent Mexico's roots, they truly represent the roots of the human civilization we know now & the fact that we know so little & feel so disconnected to them says a lot more about our education & human rights than it does about them.
We've come to fall in love with the dynamism & diversity of the indigenous art & craft in Mexico. The design, quality, thought, colors, pride, tradition of many of these goods are of some of the most beautiful arts in the world & in working with these people, we feel so lucky to be able to own such treasures, but like we're also helping keep these traditions & arts alive which in turn begins to support the livelihood & opportunities for these very misunderstood people. For tourism, there are much more manufactured & low quality trinkets produced at very low margins for these people to appease the market & it's often difficult to find & appreciate the quality & therefore price of the genuine high quality works. We've been lucky enough to stumble upon a few groups in Chiapas that maintain a very old tradition of rug making in a very high quality, hand-knotted, Persian style that takes months to create. Every part of the process from raising the sheep, to harvesting & spinning the wool, creating the natural dyes & weaving of intricate astrological & earthly wonder patterns is all done by hand. These are extremely luxurious rugs in the ornate & vibrant colors & designs that Chiapanecas, the traditional people of Chiapas, are known for. These rugs are the kind of pieces you will find in the museums of Anthropology when representing these Mayan indigenous groups for their craftsmanship & designs represent their history & beliefs of universal patterns. Every single one is truly a piece of art that any wall or floor would be uplifted to adorn & they feel like pieces of heaven under your feet. We're very excited that we've been able to create a 3rd collection of rugs that embody these gems & all come with a Chiapan talisman, or good luck charm. We hope you like them & can feel a bit of the history, vibrancy & beauty this culture has to offer through these pieces of the Colores Chiapanecas collection :)
Colores Chiapanecas Collection #3, Bad Bazaar
Handmade, hand-knotted, 100% wool, natural-dye, indigenous Mayan rugs <3