2 Artisans supported by KITZENZenaida Aguilar & Hilaria Lopez PatishtaN
MEXICO | 2018
SECTION OF DRESS: Traditional contrasting Embroideries from Chiapas
2 panels from 2 remarkable women in Chiapas
Kitzen is an initiative of Fundación León XIII which seeks to guide, support and empower those in poverty to be able to use their talents to earn a living - whilst also creating community, better health and ultimately a better quality of life.
Kirstie contacted Kitzen to see if they might be interested in coordinating a commission for the Red Dress. After deciding on which area of Mexico to focus on they suggested 2 artisans; Zenaida one of their most experienced artisans, and Hilaria who at just 17 was one of the youngest. The ladies each worked on a triangular goday, positioned either side of the front panel on the Red Dress.
Zenaida Aguilar lives in Aguacatenango, Chiapas and describes herself as ‘the happiest women alive!’ She lives surrounded by family in her own house and is a respected part of the community. Zenaida had a difficult past and was left with nothing following the breakdown of an abusive marriage. With a strong and determined spirit she has managed to rebuild her life using her skill of embroidery - not only in creating her own stunning work but tutoring a host of young embroiderers and overseeing the artisans of Chiapas as Kitzen’s quality control in both San Cristobal de las Casas and Mexico City.
Zenaida’s vibrant and joyful design shows flora and fauna from the area (including cocoa pods!) created entirely in French Knots. Her technical skill and unique designs alongside the successful life she has created outside of marriage has seen her become an important role model for the younger generation, who are inspired to lead more independent and empowered lives.
HILARIA Lopez Patishtan lives with her family in San Juan Chamula; a beautiful (and very insular) Tzotzil town in Chiapas.
Hilaria was taught embroidery by her mother at 7 years old, and she loves it! In fact her whole family embroider and make clothing, and she sees herself always embroidering. The Lopez family live in a beautiful house that tumbles down the hillside, with black sheep, chickens, rabbits, pretty flowers and the most speculator of views.
Zenaida’s panel was created in traditional San Chamulan style, which sees rows and rows of expertly crafted geometric shapes in pretty pinks, yellow’s and greens. An honouring not only of her home town but of her family lineage and tradition within it.
To contact Hilaria or Zenaida for commissions and to learn more about Kitzen and the incredible work they do, please visit their website: https://www.fundacionleontrece.org/en/home