Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Textiles in Daily Life: Proceedings of the Third Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, September 24–26, 1992 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1993).


Copyright © 1992 by the author(s).


The dark blue and white jaspe (ikat) rebozo is a traditional shawl-like garment still worn daily in Mexico by many women and girls, especially in the State of Oaxaca. Formerly,this type of rebozo was mainly produced locally in tatteres (workshops) in Oaxaca. Now such rebozos are almost entirely made in other centers, most probably Tenancingo and Chilapa de Guerrero, and brought into Oaxaca. When asked about the number of jaspe reboceros in Oaxaca in former times, informants would reply "a lot," or "many." By the early 1960's, eight of these remained. Not only had other types of weaving become more profitable and less labor intensive, but there is also a possibility that a decline in the wearing of the traditional jaspe rebozo had contracted the market. While the rebozo is romanticized and seen as part of national and state costume, it is also seen as representing rural attitudes and a lack of modernity. For example, young girls are discouraged from wearing rebozos at school. Today, only one maestro of jaspe lives and works in Oaxaca, Fidel Diaz Valencia.

In video interviews conducted in May/June 1990 together with Pamela Scheinman, Don Fidel tells of his life as a weaver, and pocotero (seller) of rebozos. He explains and demonstrates the jaspe technique. This material is presented as a thirty minute video which also includes photographs of Don Fidel taken by researchers from the San Diego Museum of Man in 1963, as well as a meeting of Don Fidel with representatives from a Oaxacan governmental agency, concerning the continuation of this weaving tradition. Copies of the video are available at cost from the author.