Home LifestyleArt and Culture The Mexican Rebozo: a companion of life, collective book

The Mexican Rebozo: a companion of life, collective book

by Magali Alvarez
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¨La fortaleza del rebozo¨(The Strength of the Shawl), Xtipp Baiy, is a book created collectively by girls, boys and elderly woman (abuelitas) from the indigenous municipality of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, with the guidance of Aurora Bazán, master textile artisan.

Bazán López gathered in this work the community knowledge shared by older women about the importance of the rebozo (baiy, in Zapotec) throughout the life of the inhabitants of this town.

For years I gathered the testimonies of the grandmothers of Teotitlán about this piece of cloth, which almost has a soul,” she said.

It was from her own observation and experience -Aurora is a weaver who continues with the ancestral legacy of the pedal loom- that she valued the rebozo beyond a utilitarian garment.

A rebozo is a long flat garment, very similar to a shawl, worn mostly by women in Mexico. It can be worn in various ways, usually folded or wrapped around the head and/or upper body to shade from the sun, provide warmth, and as an accessory to an outfit.

The exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum under the banner of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), took place back in 2014 in London, England, and included a wide variety of Mexican shawls (rebozos) made of silk and cotton. (Photo: FASHION AND TEXTILE MUSEUM

Cover of the book La fortaleza del rebozo.
Collaborative content

  • TITLE: The Strength of the Shawl, (La fortaleza del Rebozo) Xtipp Baiy
  • AUTHOR: Aurora Bazán et. al.
  • PUBLISHER: Alma Zapoteca, Mexico, 2021, 75 pp.

The Baiy is our help, it is the one that covers us from the sun and the wind; it helps us to raise our children, it serves to lull them to sleep and the babies are calmed when they are in it”.

Bazán commented that during the making of the book she considered it important to involve the children of the community since the pandemic changed the interaction of children and adolescents to social networks.

Although we live in a bilingual indigenous community, where the entrance was closed to outsiders, mothers, and fathers allowed their children to use the platforms and the children stopped playing”.

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