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The Laguna Collective Social Project: Spinning, Weaving and Sewing Since Ancient Times

In pre-Hispanic Mexico, Mesoamerican groups developed great mastery in spinning, dyeing, weaving and sewing- all activities closely related to the feminine spheres. This knowledge was inherited thanks to the mythology of indigenous peoples which offered channels of transmission of knowledge from generation to generation. Defining the test of time, despite the cultural break that Spanish contact implied and the modernity achieved, all still practiced today.

Through the archaeological and historical record, we are able to experience the legacy of our ancestors given the evidence that accounts for these practices and their antiquity. The chronicles of the travelers, the mural paintings, the sculptures with precise details of the making of the clothing, the items used for textile production and the textiles themselves, are some of the examples where we can appreciate the creation of various types of fabrics, ornaments with particular shapes and a wide range of colors. With which more than 500 years ago, each group captured ways of thinking that became language.

Currently, the Mayan region of our country has become a point of reference on the survival of the indigenous tradition of hand-sewing. These artisan tasks are mostly carried out by women, and it is through their daily practices that they keep this ancestral legacy alive for Mexico and the world. By preserving this tradition, women cultivate their family relationships. When they start to embroider, a synergy is created between the group. Thus, through creativity, talent and sensitivity; they illustrate their stories, recreate their world, strengthen their ties and generate livelihoods.

In the Mayan community of Punta Laguna, Quintana Roo, women maintain the tradition of embroidering their own dresses. Doña Paulina Canul tells us that when she was little and desired a dress with flowers her mother, Doña Macaria, explained to her that she had to embroider the dress. That was how the young Mayan girl "taught herself" to embroider. From an early age, girls learn to prepare tortillas, but perceived as one of the more domestic tasks; they learn to embroider. Once mastered, a woman becomes a feminine merit within the community.

As in the past, these embroideries presently become means of transmitting messages into the daily lives of Mayan women. The threads weave in and out dressed with the colors, the flora and fauna, that accompany them with the one they cohabitate in the Punta Laguna territory. It is also said specific designs and garments can be inspired and created exclusively for the request of a miracle, which then is offered to the Saint of the people.

In this way, embroidery and sewing is enhanced as a way of life for many Mayan women. Essentially, these women are responsible for creating the clothes that they, their families, and offerings will wear. Taught at a young age, and preserved through time, the tradition highlights their utilitarian and symbolic value. When they offer their creations to the world, they perform as participants in the family economy; in hopes of prosperous opportunities in their lives.

Our commitment with our local community is to offer as many work possibilities as possible. Not by alternating their local environment, but by increasing their cultural activities such as sewing and embroidering. When you shop with Laguna Collective, 15% of each online sale is donated to our community of Mayan women. This is apart from the fair payment through collaboration with us.

With love from Tulum,

Laguna Collective

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