Bright Colored Textiles
Chiapas’ most important handcraft is textiles, most of which is cloth weaved on a backstrap loom. Indigenous girls learn how to sew and embroider from a very young age. Many of the textiles are made for everyday use, and include skirts, belts, blouses, huipils and shoulder wraps called chals. The colors of the textiles are vibrant red, yellow, turquoise blue, purple, pink, green and various pastels and decorated with designs such as flowers, butterflies, and birds. Indigenous textiles can be most often found in San Cristóbal de las Casas, San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán. We found this beautifully colored pillowcase at Sna Jolobil, a wonderful textile co-operative in San Cristobal.
First-prize recipient of UNESCO’s Crafts Award for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2002, the co-op is known for its gorgeous textiles, and is the place to shop for the finest indigenous handcraft in Chiapas. Sna Jolobit, which means ‘the Weaver’s House,’ was founded about 30 years ago by Pedro Meza, a Tenejapa weaver and Walter (Chip) Morris, a Mayan textile expert and author of Living Maya, as well as numerous articles on textiles and artisan development programs.
Sna Jolobil, one the longest lasting and most successful artisan cooperatives in Latin America, is now in its third decade and showcases the work of more than 800 weavers from 20 Tzotzil and Tzeital indigenous communities. The textile co-operative is located at Calzada Lazaro Cardenas #42, across the street from Santo Domingo Church in the main downtown market square, San Cristobal.