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Ruiz Bazan Family

Artisan Organization: Ruiz Bazan Family

Country: Mexico

"Our family has been weaving Zapotec-style rugs for many generations, dedicating ourselves purely to this process. We purchase wool from a farmer nearby and dye it with natural dyes collected from native plants, some of which we find at the morning marketplace. Some of the plant dyes we grow ourselves, including small flowers that contain a very strong pigment.

"We are all involved in every aspect of weaving, from washing the raw wool when it arrives at shearing time, to carding it carefully and dyeing it in many beautiful shades before weaving begins. We are especially careful to choose the right colors for each rug – we put careful consideration into this artistic aspect of the rug-making process.

"Not one of us has ever hesitated to become a rug weaver. We have all grown up watching our parents and grandparents weave, and because it is an enjoyable process, we have followed in our parents' footsteps as adults. During the weekends we teach our children this same art form that has been passed down through many generations. Our children are learning in school that they have opportunities to try other types of work as well, but we would not be surprised if they eventually decide to become rug makers, following the tradition of our ancestors.

"Our rugs carry the lines and colors of our native land. In keeping with the Zapotec tradition of carefully selecting each family member's name, we actually baptize each of our rug designs as if the rugs were born and needed a name with which to be identified. Ojo de Dios Sobre las MontaΓ±as ("The Eye of God Over The Mountains"), Piedra del Sol ("Stone of the Sun"), and Flor de Oaxaca ("Flower of Oaxaca") are examples of some of the names we give our rugs.""

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