Land of the Gods
Teotitlán del Valle is a small village in the foothills of the Sierra Juarez Mountains, located in the east of the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca, Mexico. Teotitlán is considered the first village founded by the Zapotecs around 1465, originally called “Xaquija,” which means “Celestial Constellation.” The name of Teotitlán comes from Nahuatl and means “Land of the Gods.”
Weaving in the region dates back to 500 B.C.E., when villages would pay tribute to the Aztecs with their first weavings using cotton and ixtle in backstrap looms. In 1535 Dominican missionaries introduced foot looms and sheep, and the new materials allowed villagers to improve their weavings.
It is from this tradition that my family and I work each time we sit at our loom.