Those interested in crafts
will find dozens of family workshops open to the public.
A historical note -- weaving in this village dates to 500 BC. The
earliest weavings used cotton and ixtle and utilized the backstrap
loom. Teotitlán would pay its financial tribute to the Aztecs
Today's weavers use peddle looms introduced by the Dominicans.
The fabric of choice is wool. This is due to the introduction of
sheep in the valley by Juan López de Zárate in the
More than 100 workshops showcase a large selection
of handmade products, including rugs, jackets, ponchos and dresses.
A few weavers are reviving the use of natural dyes including indigo
and cochineal and brazilwood.
Designs include traditional Zapotec glyphs as well as Navajo designs
(a contentious issue) and reproductions of famous paintings by Picasso
There are about 150 families who specialize in weaving. See the
process from carding wool to natural dyes to weaving. Here's our
There are several families who specialize in candle-making (velas
COMMUNITY MUSEUM - Across from the town's craft market is
one of the finest community museums in Mexico. Balla Xtee Guedchi
Gulal opened has exhibitions featuring archaeological finds, crafts
and traditional weddings. Signage appears in English, Spanish and
Zapotec. The museum opened in 1995 and recently inaugurated a display
about the Danza
de la Pluma. There is a small admission fee and no picture taking
is permitted inside. Phone: 524-4463
CHURCHES - The Precious Blood of Christ Church (Preciosa
Sangre de Cristo) was completed in 1751 and is considered a
prime example of colonial architecture. Pilgrims take note of the
Capilla del Cristo Grande located in a private home on Aquiles Serdan
Bird-watchers flock to this community to see the avine species
at the local dams.
To see the birds, head north a mile to the Piedra Azul Dam at the
foothills of El Picacho. During the rainy months, the Benito Juárez
Dam fills to the east. Winter months (November-March) are the best
time to see migratory birds, including herons and kingfishers.
Evidence shows signs of Olmec
visitation (circa 500 BC) and impressive glyphs are displayed in
the community museum. A small but impressive archaeological site
is located on the east side of the church.
One the major celebrations is the Danza
de la Pluma ('Feather Dance' in English and 'Guyach' in Zapotec)
that commemorates the conquest battles between the Spaniards and
This dance is performed during the Fiesta of the Precious Blood
of Christ the first Wednesday of July (with the proviso that when
the first Wednesday is July 1st or 2nd, festivities are conducted
the second Wednesday of the month). Dancers (danzantes)
wear elaborate headdresses fashioned from painted feathers, which
gives the event its name in Spanish, Danza de la Pluma.
The week-long celebration includes carnival rides and a basketball