Travelling solo has made for some interesting conversations, interactions and I have met some awesome people. The first thing I get asked by other travellers is whether I have had any issues travelling solo. To be honest I think what you put out is what you get back, and I haven’t had any problems (other than my backpack held for ransom in Athens). I also think that after this amount of time my instincts are pretty good (touch wood). However I do have a list of questions I never want to be asked again… Read more
Posts tagged ‘Mexico’
I think my friend Eulalia described it most eloquently when she likened weaving a tapete to a lover. They want all your time, and if you neglect them, the tension rises and they can get warped out of shape. Therefore once a tapete is started on the loom, it is continued until it is complete.
Eulalia lives in Teotitlán del Valle, a community known for their traditionally designed and intricately woven wool tapetes. Even if weaving is not the primary family business, you can be sure there are looms in the household, and the family members will work together in the evenings, companionably weaving side by side on separate looms. Read more
When the Spanish arrived in Mexico, they were shocked to see the locals wearing red clothing in their everyday life. Red was the colour of royalty in Europe, and so not only forbidden to wear, but also very very expensive to buy, and here were all these locals, parading around in red everyday clothes!
Like many dyes used in Teotitlán, the colour red is sourced traditionally, using the female cochineal beetle, a parasite that lives on the nopal cactus plant, indigenous to Mexico. After feasting on the nopal juice, the insect produces carminic acid to deter predators, and it is this acid which is used for red dye. Read more
If you are a 14 year old boy living in Teotitlan del Valle, one of the first committees you might serve on under usos y costombres would be during the 3 day period of Dia de los Muertos, which takes place from October 31st to November 2nd each year.
During this time it is customary in Teotitlán to ring the church bells for 3 days straight. This is done to help guide the departed spirits back to the village so they may share in the festivities, and be present for conversations with the living. These boys, in a group of about 20, will take turns living up in the bell towers of the church, (probably going a little mad from the noise) and ensuring the bells ring 24/7 for the entire 3-day period of festivities. Read more