Made in Mexico

Made in Mexico

Zapotec Weavers and the Global Ethnic Art Market
William Warner Wood
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/17/2008
Format: Paperback 1 b&w photo, 32 color photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21986-2
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Made in Mexico introduces us to the people, places, and ideas that create Zapotec textiles and give them meaning. From Oaxaca, where guides escort tourists to weavers' homes and then to the shops and markets where weavings are sold, to the galleries and stores of the American Southwest, where textiles are displayed and purchased as home decor or ethnic artwork, W. Warner Wood's ethnographic account crosses the border in both directions to describe how the international market for Native American art shapes weavers' design choices. Everyone involved in this enterprise draws on images of rustic authenticity and indigenous tradition connecting the Mexican nation to its pre-Hispanic past, despite the fact that Zapotec textiles are commodities through and through. Wood examines the production and consumption of Zapotec textiles through the social practices that give them value.

Author Bio

W. Warner Wood is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies at Central Washington University. He is also Research Associate at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where he was formerly a curator. He lives in Ellensburg, Washington.


“From the households and workshops of Oaxaca, to the shops and markets where weavings are sold, to the entrepreneurs, dealers, gallery owners, and consumers in the American Southwest who purchase the goods as home decor or ethnic artwork, W. Warner Wood's rich ethnographic account describes how the international market for Native American art shapes weavers' design choices.”

“Made in Mexico is an original and provocative examination of the trade in weavings and textiles. . . . A significant contribution to both the specific literature on Oaxacan weaving and a more general literature on the production and market of 'ethnic' arts and crafts.”
 — Michael Chibnik, author of Crafting Tradition: The Making and Marketing of Oaxacan Wood Carvings

“In telling a traditional tale about Zapotecs in the town of Teotitlán del Valle, Wood explores the broader parameters of what is Zapotec culture and, especially, what are Zapotec textiles, in a transnational context.2010, Volume 42”
 — The Journal of Latin American Studies

“Made in Mexico represents a skillful combination of thick ethnographic description with sophisticated theorectical analysis. . . . Advanced students and scholars interested in museum studies, tourism, art, and cultural representation will find this to be a fascinating text, and it is well-suited to advanced undergraduate or graduate courses on these topics. Scholars of material culture in Mexico and the Southwestern United States especially will not want to miss it. Vol. 32, no. 2”
 — Museum Anthropology

“. . . The international aspects of marketing and production, as well as weavers' uses of text sources to reproduce earlier Zapotec and Navajo textiles—beautifully illustrated in 30 color plates—underscore the social constructedness of representations of national cultural heritage. . . Recommended. Most levels/libraries.July 2009”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Locating Mexico and Zapotec Weavers
Part 1. Constructing and Consuming the Zapotec
1. ¡Viva Oaxaca, No Hay Otro!
2. Touring Zapotec Weavers, or the Bug in the Rug
3. Selling Zapotec Textiles in the "Land of Enchantment"
Discussion: The Zapotec Industry
Part 2. Crafting Weavings and Weavers
4. The Zapotec Textile Production Complex
5. "We Learn to Weave by Weaving"
6. To Learn Weaving, MADE IN MEXICO
Discussion: Crafting Zapotec Weaving Practices