La vida Zapoteca: the zapotec way of life

Size: 40x100cm; 15.5x39in

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. 
Weaver: Zenaida from San Miguel del Valle
Patterns and symbols.
This rug starts with stripes of the smile pattern to remind us that laughing and smiling is the source of true healing. When know that when we smile our body releases a cocktail of molecules that are good for our health. 
The cycle of life pattern was woven the middle of the smiles stripes; this symbol is formed by joining both hands in a fist shape at the tips of the fingers similar to a mudra. This union represents the balance of the left and right side of our awareness. The left side of our body we call Rubeæs (Nahual) and holds the type of awareness associated to our intuition, our conection to nature and the spirit world. Words Associated with beaæs are powerful: Jaguar (governors), ants (corn seed keepers, rain predictors), new borns, censer,  etc... On the right side we have the naliì (tonal) awareness, the awareness associated with language and logic that allow us to understand the cause and effect phenomenons of the physical world; words associated are music, straight lines and honesty, keys, locks etc. The ancient teachings can be summarized in the moto live a life of balance. 
The life cycle symbol can also be read mathematically, each block (step) represents 13 years of life and is marked by a specific ritual. At age 39 one has probably grown up, worked a lot, started a family and then one starts to grow spiritually. The so called middle age crisis is inherent to this stage, this is why the step becomes horizontal, for 13 years until 52 one needs to recapitulate life experiences and process them into knowledge that are distilled into stories that can be passed down to future generations. As much as we are inheriting DNA (tangible), we also inherit stories and teachings (intangible); both are capable of transforming the world. After 52, the line points down as we enter elderhood and our bodies start weakening but our spirit starts getting uplifted. After 65 the line lays flat as we would get ready to lay our physical bodies and face our death at any time, during this stage we would need more and more support from our family and community, just like we did when we were kids, and in exchange we have all the knowledge and stories to share. Children and elders share a particular bond because children, specially babies, just emerged from the spirit world while elders are getting ready to return to it. 
There are five eyes of the feather snake in the next segment. This diamond represents the balance of the four types of awareness found in the human experience: Nahual (dreams, intuition); tonal (language, logic); snake (earthly) and bird (spiritual). When we balance these four awareness in our lives we can reach the feather snake state, a state where wisdom and love comes to us as represented by a butterfly in the center of the diamond. There are five feather snake eyes because we live in the era of the fifth sun; the earth has experiences four previous stages of creation. 
The rug is titled peaceful life because of the blue color that resembles the sky and the ocean. In our dishzaa language to say Ocean we say Niís douů, peaceful waters. 


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