Hidalgo’s Otomí Collective joins RaizS Art et Communautés

By tanyadominguez | On 20/06/2016 | Comments (0)

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Written by: Tanya D 

Traduced by: Adrian Enciso

The Otomi people are an indigenous group that inhabits the center of Mexico, in the states of México, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Tlaxcala, Puebla and Veracruz. This culture can be classified in 4 minorities, according to the territory in which they live: Valle del Mezquital, Sierra Madre Oriental, semi-desert of Querétaro and north of the state of México.


The traditional costume of the otomies depends on the place where they live. For instance, women clothing in the state of Tlaxcala wear chincuetes[1] made of wool that is usually black, a hand embroidered blouse with floral motifs and animals on the neck and the arms of the blouse. They use an embroidered belt to hold the chincuete, the rebozo and the huaraches.

This brief introduction is to welcome an Otomi collective frome the state of Hidalgo to the project RaizS Art et Communautés. The collective is gathering of families that have worked individually for a long time and that decided to join to sustainably develop their art and their traditions. One of them, the Hernández Calvillo family, will create pieces that will be on sale in our solidarity boutique. The collective’s project was founded one year ago, mainly by indigenous women who make the embroidery known as tenangos.

The Tenango[2] is a piece of textile art  (cotton, manta), embroidered and colored, typical of the Tepehua-Otomi culture inhabiting the Tenango de Doria region, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. In them, “the daily life of the community and the representation of its rites and ceremonies, the countryside, the games, the houses and the region are embodied”. [3]

The process to make a Tenango is quiet arduous and very tiring: a lot of creativity, precision and patience to draw and embroider are needed to create one of them. The artists of the collective tell us that they “cannot embroider when angry, or in a hurry, because the quality of the pieces isn’t good and it won’t sell”. The daily working time is three hours and the production time can be 2 weeks or even many months, depending on the size of the piece.

This is how these women have undertaken a sustainable action that allows them to obtain high-quality creations and to sell them at a fair price, combining the creation of their art with the maintenance of their home.

The project RaizS joins them through the promotion of their work and the defense of a fair price.

Let’s pay a fair price for art!

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Tanya is from Mexico.

Cultural diversity is a force for all countries,

It is necessary to include it in development strategies



[1] Long belt used by women to hold the underskirt.

[2] The word Tenango is composed of two voices from the Nahuatl:  Tenamitl and co  and means "walled or fortified place”

[3] Los tenangos :mitos y ritos bordados. Carmen Lorenzo, Elena Vazquez y Ana Maria Gomez CONACULTA 2009.

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