1972.008.0001Oaxaca is well-known for its beautiful and elaborate textile arts. This piece was donated to the Museum of Man in 1972 by George Courser, who himself received the textile as a gift. In 1981 the Museum’s weaver in residence, Gabino Jimenez, recognized the textile. He himself had made the piece in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The design includes a central concentric circle, which is a stylized version of an Aztec Calendar. Surrounding the center is a wide border that includes human figures wearing elaborate headdresses and tending lotus plants. The four corners of the border show eagles on cactus plants with serpents in their beaks. Gabino learned the art of weaving from his grandfather and prepares his own handspun wool and dyes.

Zapotec; 1938–1940
Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico
Gift of George Courser