This group of seven Nnancue Ñomndaa (indigenous Amuzgas) women from the community of Suljaa or Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, has come together in the belief that solidarity between women who weave and embroider creates a common good that strengthens them as a whole. From childhood, the women were taught the art of weaving on a waist loom by their mothers and grandmothers, transmitting the knowledge that produces exceptional textiles including huipiles, blouses, rebozos, shirts, table cloths, and more. “The fabrics…represent our history as a people, our fabrics give us cultural and historical identity,” they say.
The textile base is brown and green coyuchi cotton cultivated by a member of the collective. Yarn is then spun by hand, dyed with bark, flowers, and roots, then assembled as a waist loom form that ends as a blouse, huipil, or cotton. Each piece woven by hand on the waist loom can take months, even years, because each is unique and the patterns are never repeated. Because the process takes so much time and produces little income, many women choose to consider other work to sustain their families.
As a collective, the women who form it have found that working together increases their economic power as well as empowers them as individuals. “We fight every day to be able to support ourselves as indigenous women and as a family,” they explain. They believe their craft deserves respect not only for its beauty, but because it represents their culture and who they are as people. For the women of Colectivo Yolcuu Ñomndaa Tejiendo Resistencia, their designs tell their stories and as such, are “sacred as part of our own writing.”