Manos Zapotecas Obsidian Arrow Maria Tote

Artisan Organization: Manos Zapotecas 

Country: Mexico

Josefina is one of MZ’s original and most prolific bag designers. She is especially well known for her elegant “Straight as an Arrow” design.

Josefina is from a town called Tlacochahuaya, nearby to the town of Teotitlan, where she lives now with her husband Paco and their four children. Instead of growing up weaving as many of our artisans did, she comes from a farming family and didn’t begin to learn the craft until after she was married.

 Josefina has been married to our Production Manager Paco for over 20 years. They met when they were both taking the bus into Oaxaca city every day, he to study, and she to work as secretary.  They soon fell in love.

 Josefina took to weaving very quickly, including dyeing the wool and designing the patterns. She has even become an accomplished seamstress. Now, she finishes bags for other weavers with her industrial sewing machine.

 “I forget the world when I begin to dye the colors,” she said. “The colors are never the same and it’s interesting every time.”

 Josefina and Paco are the parents of four children: Paco, Jessica, Porfirio and María José. Jessica just graduated from college, Porfirio from high school and will be starting pre-med studies in the fall, and little María Jose recently began elementary school. The whole family gives loving attention to son Paco,who is mentally challenged.

 “Having a son with disabilities,” says Josefina, “has taught us unconditional love".

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