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Sakubel supports indigenous art

By Jade Arroyo

Sakubel, in the Tojolabal dialect from Chiapas, means “dawn.” A group of nuns, Dominican Sisters of Mary based in the city of Guanajuato, have taken the word as the name for a store in Plaza la Luciérnaga that features traditional Mexican textiles at affordable prices. Proceeds from the nonprofit enterprise go toward supporting the communities that produce these unique artisanal textiles, thereby preserving a vital part of Mexico’s cultural heritage.

The name was chosen to convey the sense of an awakening to Mexican tradition, to shine light on an art that is born on looms in traditional designs, an art that sometimes remains hidden.

Sister Esperanza is in charge of the store. “To make one single piece, they take one, two, or even three months,” she explained. This is a place where people can purchase an original piece, made by Mexican hands—something they can wear with pride,” she said.

Sister Esperanza thinks that indigenous communities must take pride in themselves and their work, too, and come out into the world without fear.

The store offers textiles from indigenous communities in Chiapas, Oaxaca, the state of México and San Luis Potosí, as well as crafts from Guanajuato made of tin and silver.

Some of the items for sale are trendy leather handbags, adorned with traditional embroidery from León; handmade shawls from Oaxaca and Mexico; men’s and women’s shirts with appliqués; intricate and finely woven sashes; long and short huipiles and accessories. You can also find gifts for children, including embroidered clothing, papier- maché figures and old-style wooden toys. There is also silver jewelry from Taxco, amber from Simojovel and beaded jewelry made by Huichol Indians.

The most elaborate and luxurious costume is the tehuana dress, from Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, with a velvet top, widely embroidered in flower designs and a long skirt with lace trim.

Sakubel at Plaza La Luciernaga is open every day from 11am–8:30 pm.


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