TLAKIMILOLLI: "Voices of the loom" Documentary of woolen textil art in the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz

By tanyadominguez | On 23/01/2018 | Comments (0)

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Written by: Tanya D.


The documentary "Tlakimilolli: Voice of the loom", a treatise on the traditional knowledge of spinning, weaving at the waist and weavers in the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz. This document is the first filming location in the Nahuatl language of the region, with Spanish subtitles.

This project was developed in the Sierra de Zongolica, a Nahuatl-speaking indigenous region located in the central zone of the state of Veracruz, which subsists under conditions of high marginalization and poverty.

Here the weaving in waist loom has played, since pre-Cortesian times, a central role in the communal, ritual and identity life. This work is mostly done by women, and it uses local sheep wool and natural dyes obtained from the forest. The whole process is done by hand, from obtaining the fleeces to making the garments. Currently, textile art is experiencing a very serious crisis caused by low profitability and limited trade in handicrafts, which is compounded by ethnic discrimination and the indication that indigenous women are victims because of their class, gender and ethnicity. Likewise, the gradual destruction of the forest from which raw materials are obtained, as well as the growing migration of people who no longer teach the Nahuatl language or culture to their sons and daughters, further obscure the panorama for indigenous art. As a response to this loss of knowledge that, according to some researchers like Marta Turok, could lead to the total disappearance of craft practices in the next generation, it was proposed to FONCA the realization of a short film in the cold zone of the Sierra de Zongolica , Veracruz, which registers the mythical and empirical knowledge of textile art, as well as the experiences of 27 creators. The proposal included the realization of field stays that were developed intermittently during four of the eight months of the project. In this sense, in addition to the filming, a photographic record and an audio record were made in Nahuatl, with interviews to 11 adult women from the municipalities of Tlaquilpa, Atlahuilco, Tequila, Soledad Atzompa, San Juan Texhuacan and Mixtla de Altamirano, municipalities that comprise the cold zone of the Sierra de Zongolica, also called "Tlasesekya".

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