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Stitching stories: a digital ode to Mexico's textile artisans

image of two hands weaving fabric

Woven into the rich tapestry of Mexican culture, embroidery, weaving and textile creation are the heart and soul of indigenous communities. The skilled artisans who master these arts play a vital role in preserving Mexico's cultural heritage while weaving stories of resilience, creativity and a deep connection to the past.

Today we unveil Crafted in Mexico, a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of Mexico and Google Arts & Culture, celebrating our nation's textile artisans, their enduring skills passed down through generations, and the significance of their work in the past, present and future. These creations embody rich history and craftsmanship, standing as timeless masterpieces.

The project presents over 50 stories that pay tribute to these artisans, their intricate techniques, and the enduring artistry that enriches Mexico's cultural heritage. Now you can visit the hub to meet some of the artisans, custodians of these traditions in five communities across Mexico, where family ties preserve and advance these legacies.

Tekimalaktl Collective. The craftswomen from the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz

Three generations of women sit in a room weaving wool by hand

Colectivo Tekimalaktl, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, México

In Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico, the Tekimalaktl Collective thrives as a vibrant hub of traditional wool crafting. Amidst the many households raising sheep, these age-old traditions not only endure but flourish.

Nancy Carvajal, a third-generation artisan, epitomizes this legacy, bridging rich traditions from her mother and grandmother in Veracruz with the modern textile industry in Mexico City. Her work seamlessly weaves heritage with innovation, ensuring a cultural legacy for future generations.

Alabel Dhuche Workshop | Tamaletom, Tancanhuitz, San Luis Potosí

a woman from the Alabel Duche' collective stand in front of a three wearing traditional garment

Bordados del Colectivo Alabel Dhuche’, in Tamaletom, San Luis Potosí, México

In the heart of San Luis Potosí, Tamaletom hosts the Alabel Duche' collective, a thriving community where embroidery is their cultural heartbeat.

The Teenek people weave narratives of life cycles, rituals, and cosmic interconnectedness into every garment, embodying their profound worldview and preserving rich traditions, even their endangered language, through the magic threads in their textiles.

Masehual Cihuamej Group | Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla

Rufina Villa Hernández sitting while wearing a traditional garment

Colectivo Masehual Cihuamej, in Cuetzalan, Puebla, México

Meet Rufina Villa Hernández, a pillar in a Cuetzalan, Puebla indigenous women's collective of 100 members, driving cultural development and female empowerment.

In the 1990s their audacious vision for job creation led to the birth of Hotel Taselotzin, celebrating ancestral techniques and intricate embroidery. Since 2005, the hotel has transformed into a thriving community center, a testament to the power of camaraderie and collaborative effort, where community art and artisanal talents shine brightly.

Loo'l Pich | Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo

the community of Colectivo Loo’l Pich pose all together wearing traditional garments

Embroidery of Colectivo Loo’l Pich in the community of X-Pichil, Quintana Roo, México

In the enchanting X-Pichil region of Quintana Roo, Amanda Tah Arana and the Loo'l Pich collective of 20 artisans are preserving ancient Mayan embroidery traditions.

The matriarchs pass down these techniques, imparting their people's stories and cosmologies to younger generations.

These dedicated women extend their commitment beyond their community, teaching in neighboring towns like Tulum, sharing and preserving their precious techniques. Adapting to modern influences, the Loo'l Pich collective seamlessly blends contemporary designs with traditional motifs, crafting a wide range of items from shirts to face masks.

Workshop of Enedina Lara, Julia Hernández, and Erika Reynoso | Tzintzun Tzan, Michoacán

Enedina Lara, Julia Hernández, and Erika Reynoso pose for a picture wearing their own creations of colorful embroidered garments

Embroidery in the community of Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, México

Reynoso transforms everyday life into an art canvas. With their vibrant creations, they breathe life into the ordinary, employing traditional embroidery techniques carried forward through the ages.

Meet the remarkable artisans of Michoacán — Enedina Lara, Julia Hernández, and Erika Reynoso. These women bring three distinct perspectives and skill sets to the forefront, collectively capturing the very essence of embroidery in this region.

This incredible journey is only the beginning. Dive into Crafted in Mexico and explore indigenous traditions and vibrant colors of Oaxaca, where you'll discover unique cultures such as the Chontales and Ikoots, as well as the captivating traditions of Tenangos, all waiting to be explored.

Continue exploring this project and more on the Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

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