Woman's huipil (bodice) - ROM2014_14346_32


Woman's huipil (bodice)

Maker: Victoria Villaseñor Oviedo, Huave culture
Medium:Cotton tabby with brocaded designs
Geography: San Mateo del Mar, State of Oaxaca, Mexico
Date: c. 1960
72 x 76 cm
Object number: 961.5.1
Credit Line: No credit line
Not on view

Woven from commercial cotton thread on a backstrap loom, it is patterned with brocaded seabirds, crabs, and other marine creatures.  The purple threads were probably coloured with the secretion of mollusks (caracol).


Among Mexican backstrap weavers, the most widespread style of decoration is brocading. Often mistaken for embroidery, this superstructural technique is used by Huave weavers in the coastal fishing community of San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca State.

The maker, Victoria Villaseñor Oviedo, acquired her skill from her mother, Justina Oviedo Rangel. By regularly incorporating thicker wefts, she has created horizontal lines in the cloth. The brocading is extremely intricate and marvellously subtle.

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