Punta Cometa: fire tending

60x100cm; 2x3ft 

Materials ans methods: criollo sheep wool hand dyed with colorfast aniline dyes using an exhaustive method. Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed. 
Master Weaver: Maria Mendoza Contreras 
Design, patterns and symbols:  This design is a red gradation inspired in the sunsets observed in Punta Cometa, a sacred hill that is the further most point on the Pacific Ocean. This red gradation speaks to us in the language of the sun and fire. For instance,  in our Dixzaa language we call fire guií, which is the root word for: flower Guie'a, rock Guiea and metal Guiib.  Fire is the linking element between this seemingly unrelated objects; fire brings the beauty of flowers (sunlight's energy), you can use rocks to make fire (pyrite and flint), and you need fire to refine iron ore into metals.  Fire, is a transformative element that provides both warm energy but also destructive transformation. Fire tending has been a practice maintained by indigenous people all over Turtle island and Cem Anahuac to maintain health forests. In our village, when there is a fire that breaks out in the mountains, the fire management committee rigs the bells if they need help to tend the fire, so that villagers can hike up and volunteer to steer and keep an eye on the fire. Fire like in the household, it is the element that brings our community together; past negative feelings or experiences are purified by working together towards a common goal to protect our land. It is no surprise that if you want to ask for a favour to someone we say, bain the guií, make me a fire.

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