In Santo Tomás Jalieza, approximately 25 kilometers (35 minutes) from Oaxaca, spinning and weaving of cotton are carried out entirely by hand.  The sign “Textiles de algodón hecho a mano” (cotton textiles made by hand) announces your arrival.  Belts are created with the use of the back strap loom that dates back to 900-500 B.C.  A left turn takes the visitor into the center of town.  Neatly trimmed bougainvilleas, many in brilliant shades of magenta and rose, decorate the street.  Almost immediately to the left is a small market in front of which there are always several women and young girls demonstrating their techniques. This is where most tourists purchase the woven crafts of Santo Tomás Jalieza. Friday is the day when the maximum number of artisans is present.  About thirty women sell their products, as compared with ten on the other days of the week. Santo Tomás’s union has resulted in the unusual practice of standardizing prices for items of comparable size, materials, and quality.

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