In preparation for our opening event “Textiles Indígenas de Los Mayo” we’d like to share an excerpt (below) of the catalog we’ve worked so hard on with our partner Mark Winter of Toadlena Trading Post. The catalog chronicles the history of the Mayo people, along with copious examples of their gorgeous textiles. The Mayo arts are rich and underrepresented in the vintage textile world, and it is our pleasure to share the amazing examples we’ve carefully collected and curated in our space. Our opening event is August 10th from 5-7pm and we look forward to seeing you all there!
Excerpt from our catalog ($24) Mayo Sarapes:
In the Northwest region of mainland Mexico, in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, lives an indigenous tribe known as the Mayo (Yoreine, the People). The Mayo should not be confused with the Southern Mexico and Central American tribe known as the Maya, who the Mayo are often compared to in economic and anthropological studies. Linguistically, the Mayo language belongs to the Uto-Aztecan family, and is referred to as Cáhita. Other notable northern members of the Uto-Aztecan language group include the Hopi, Pima, and Tohono O’odham (Papago). Cáhita in Mayo means “nothing” or “there is no one.” It was their response to early-day Jesuit priests who questioned them about a name for their language; their reply became the name for their dialect. Historically the Cáhita were a broad based linguistic group but is now limited to the Mayo and their neighbors to the immediate northwest, the Yaquis. The populations of the Cáhita language group were reported to have been well over 100,000 at the time of the Spanish arrival in the region in the early to mid 1500s. They lived in the valleys along the coastal area of the rivers that flow from the mountains known as the Sierra Madre Occidental westward into the Gulf of California.
The scant prehistoric archeological finds and early historical records that exist indicate the indigenous tribes in the region were weavers prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Cotton and other local fivers were utilized, and following the introduction of Spanish sheep, augmented with wool, as is the case with most indigenous people in Mexico, as well as those in the southwest United States.
The Mayo reportedly had a peaceful and generous nature, and appear to have accepted the Spanish and Jesuits readily, although some conflict with them developed. Many elements of what is perceived as a traditional Mayo culture have survived to modern times. However, a 17th century re-synthesis did alter their culture along with their arts and crafts. Therefore they are not in a truly indigenous form, but instead certainly reflect outside influences.