Beniguie'æ: the pleiads

Size: 40x100cm; 16in by 3ft

Weaver: Belen Bautista

Price: 140USD 
Materials and methods: criollo sheep wool spun in the mills of Tianguistengo. Hand dyed yarns by Leonor Lazo using natural dyes: Yauhtli (Tagetes lucida) and Xiuhquilitl (Indigofera Suffroticosa). Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed and wool rayon blend for warp.
Design, patterns and symbols.
This rug depicts the constellation of the Pleiads, known as Beniguie'æ in our native language and means people from the market. It is belived that the pleiads are the grandmothers that keep the ancient seeds that feed humanity. We often hear about the three sister seeds corn beans and squash that make the milpa food system. Each plant supports each other by creating a mutually nurturing ecosystem. The corn plant is a grass that fixes phosphorus on the ground and provides a structure for the bean plant to climb up and get more sunlight; in return the bean plant fixes nitrogen on the soil. The pumpking plants provide ground coverage that suppresses weed growth. These three seeds allow a good system to thrive and many other wild edible and medicinal plants to grow. We also plant other sister seeds depending on the soil type and microclimate of our land. Once can intercalate amaranth, chia, chillies, flowers, agaves and even fruit trees along the milpa. These seeds are exchanged and traded in our local markets thus trading becomes a sacred ritual where we exchange the fruits of our labour and the precious gifts of the gods that we keep in our lands. 

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