Hilos Que Hablan: Textile Legacy & Life of Mariana Ornelas
Saturday, March 9 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us on Saturday, March 9, 2019 for a day of honoring Mariana Ornelas and the beautiful textile legacy she gifted the Esperanza.
Before she passed into the spirit world on March 6, 2017, Mariana Ornelas – musician (harpist extraordinaire), professor of Spanish and Mexican American Studies at Palo Alto, community activist, and former board member of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center – donated her collection of beautiful textiles and huipiles to the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
In honor of her life and gift, we will be having an exhibit, a ceremonial blessing, speakers, and more! The exhibit will remain on view until Friday, May 10, 2019.
Event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. MORE DETAILS TO COME.
What are huipiles?
Huipiles are special articles of clothing usually made of organic fibers such as cotton, wool or silk is worn by indigenous women in parts of Mexico and throughout Guatemala. It represents the pueblos and cultures of specific indigenous communities and is used for daily wear with more elaborate ceremonial huipiles made for weddings or community celebrations. The colors, the symbols, and the type of weaving in each huipil speak volumes about the culture and spiritual beliefs of each indigenous community and the ties to the natural world.
Huipiles exhibited for sale will include huipiles from the city of Juchitán, Tehuantepec, in Mexico that are made from heavy velvet featuring large floral imagery, and huipiles from pueblos throughout the state of Oaxaca featuring animals, plants and nature. Huipiles from pueblos of the many regions of Guatemala will feature more intricate designs and tight weaving in the tradition of indigenous weavers who have worn huipiles for centuries.
Government repression and recurring political violence has torn apart communities and cultures in which textile arts are deeply rooted. It is certain that some of the weaving techniques are already lost due to widespread violence that has brought tourism and business almost to a standstill that has drastically altered cultural traditions.
Mariana donated her collection of beautiful textiles and huipiles to help sustain the Esperanza’s cultural programs and highlight the tradition and importance of huipiles, textile work and the conditions and experiences of the people who make them. Mariana’s own interest in collecting and wearing huipiles speaks to her own sense of history and dedication to community.
We hope you can join us in honoring and celebrating the life of this tireless advocate of social justice, inspiring teacher and musician who honored the art of indigenous women of the Americas.
September 18, 1949 – March 6, 2017