One of the important things about craft is the ability to preserve and document traditional methods and pass on cultural information to the next generation.
Oaxaca Stories in Cloth captures the rapidly disappearing stories and garment-making traditions of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, where dyeing and weaving elaborate garments has long been a part of the indigenous culture. The book combines large, striking photos with the stories of people who make and wear the garments. It serves as a historical record of the designs that may one day be lost as people stop wearing them, and provides inspiration to crafters around the world and across genres. It’s not a book that seeks crafters to replicate traditional designs—there are no how-to instructions or even detailed photographs of garments—but the color, designs, and motifs of these garments are sure to inspire.
From the colorful pompoms and plaited hair of a woman dressed for a wedding in San Martin Itunyoso to the bold animal designs woven into garments made in San Pablo Tijaltepec, these dazzling images give a glimpse into the daily life of those (mostly women) who still wear the traditional dress and documents a “last generation” in places where only the oldest still wear the traditional clothes.
Sarah E. White
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.