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Latino Daily News

Monday September 2, 2013

Oaxaca Indian Woman Joins Domestic Violence Group of Artisans in Chicago Exhibit

Oaxaca Indian Woman Joins Domestic Violence Group of Artisans in Chicago Exhibit

Photo: Oaxaca Indian Woman

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A craft cooperative made up of Mexican Indian women who have been victims of domestic violence is currently exhibiting a display of clothing in Chicago.

The Vale Artesanal cooperative is directed by Constanza Garcia Lopez, a Mitla Indian from Oaxaca.

“I also suffered abuse, but I got beyond that with the support of my parents, and learned that we women have to fight for each other so we can all keep moving forward,” she told Efe.

“The cooperative began a year ago with five women, and today has 45 artisans who embroider clothing, belts and huipils (a traditional embroidered dress of Indian women) with the colorful designs of their regions.

This is the second year that Vale Artesanal has visited Chicago - home to a large Mexican community - to offer handcrafted garments at prices ranging from $15 to $90.

Constanza is in charge of buying the material and preparing the cuts of Mexican cotton fabrics with machinery provided by the Mexico City municipal government.

“Afterwards we send the material to the craftswomen who embroider it and send it back, after which we take charge of finishing the garments,” she said.

About the styles of embroidery, she said the artisans of Puebla produce a kind of embroidery called tacking with animal motifs, in Chiapas they do a traditional embroidery on looms, in Oaxaca they prefer to represent flowers and animals, while in Michoacan they create flower designs and decorative bands in cross-stitch.

“It’s the variety we have in our cooperative and that we want people to know about, in Chicago and everywhere else,” she said.