Oaxaca: Stories in Cloth
Photographer and longtime Oaxaca resident Eric Mindling thinks of language as culture made audible, and clothing as culture made visible. To create this book, he visited 57 communities - as he says, 57 different ways of saying tortilla, of wearing their unique dress.
Oaxaca Stories in Cloth includes more than 175 sensitive, intimate, full-color portraits of traditional people of the Oaxacan hinterlands who continue to wrap themselves in the clothing that expresses their ancient, living culture. Eric captures this vanishing world with artistry and respect. He photographs them as we do our heroes, because they are. And he tells their stories: what the scarab beetle represents in the huipiles of the Chinantec people (a hint: it was not part of the traditional designs until the Spanish arrived in Oaxaca); how a woman's clothing is a way of telling the world who she is.
"Nothing like this exists in Mexico or the world. It is a jewel of a textile registry, but done artistically, with sensitivity, with ingenuity, and with love." —Ana Paula Fuentes, founding Director, Museo Textil de Oaxaca.