Green Otomí Sublime Framed Textile Page

Green Otomí Sublime Framed Textile

Contemporary Handmade



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This intricate St. Frank embroidery is handmade by the indigenous Otomi people of Tenango de Doria in central Mexico. The Otomi faced an economic crisis in the 1960s caused by severe drought in their predominantly subsistence farming region. As an alternative source of income, the Otomi women popularized the Tenango embroidery textile craft through the revival of an ancestral technique.

Today, skilled Otomi textile artists are in demand outside of their local communities as appreciation for this vibrant embroidery has traveled well beyond its humble origins. In recent years, Otomi embroidery has become an iconic textile print, appearing in the work of top interior and fashion designers. Even the cult French fashion house, Hermès, collaborated with Otomi artists to release an exclusive line of Hermès iconic scarves featuring the distinctive Tenango designs.

The symbolism and iconography in this textile design reflect time-honored traditions and beliefs of harmony with nature. The whimsical flora and fauna embroidered motifs can be traced back to pre-Aztec Mesoamerica and are said to originate from cave paintings. Textile designers draw the animals and plants from memories, dreams, and mythical imagination; the forms are then embroidered. Each character bears significance. For example, the deer is said to carry wealth; the rooster, to announce a good harvest. Therefore, this piece offers not only its homage to the Otomi heritage, but also the notion of luck and prosperity.