In their unusually spacious and tranquil yard, replete with bursts of brilliant purple and pink bougainvilleas, Mariana Gómez Jiménez and her three grown daughters, Margarita, Crispina and Inés, sit side by side on the ground, each working at her own backstrap loom tethered to a tree. Adjacent to this touching scene is a multiple-room house with an expansive patio where the family’s wide array of woven goods is displayed.

Mariana’s only son, Gerardo, paints in the magical realism style in his light-strewn studio off the patio. The women of the Navarro Gómez family produce an unusually large number of woven cotton items: traditional belts, bags, place mats, coasters, “centro de mesas” (table liners) and napkins, wallets, change purses, belts with leather trim, eye glass cases, and pillows created with woven segments mounted in leather. Crispina’s specialty is remarkably fine woven bags and belts with which she has won many awards.

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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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