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1
Oct

Xakira Beadwork

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See bottom of this page for history of Beadwork Handcraft in Tecalpulco and Guatemala

LARIETAS DE XAKIRA

XAKIRA BEAR NECKPIECE

 

BEAR TOTEM ABALONE SHELL PENDANTS

 XAKIRA DRAGONFLY BRACELET

TURQUOISE TURQUOISE MOSAIC POST EARRINGS

PACIFIC BLUE ABALONE SHELL HAIR BARRETTES


 

 XAKIRA BAND BRACELETS


Double Sided Abalone Shell Earrings with Xakira border.


Double Sided Abalone Shell Earrings with Xakira border

Xakira Neckpiece with Matching Earrings


Xakira Necklaces with Matching Earrings

Xakira Rings

Xakira Shell Mosaic Flowers

Many Northamericans think of Guatemala as the source and origen of fancy beadwork.  The true history, however, is as follows: in the terrible wars (massacres) in the Guatemala highlands in the 1950’s and 1960’s, large numbers of guatemaltecos migrated to the southern Mexican states, including Guerrero.  There was a colony in Tecalpulco in those years.

The Huichol are the originators of beadwork (the word xakira is derived from the Huichol language) Our grandparents knew the Huichol and since the 1950’s-1960’s some people in Tecalpulco were making fancy beadwork pieces to sell to the tourist shops in Taxco. The guatemaltecans were quick to pick up this specialized handcraft, and they were fast and very good at it.

Anybody who has been in the jewelry business for a long time knows that commercial beadwork appeared in the Santiago area no earlier than the nineteen-seventies. The craftspeople in those villages were weavers. Excellent skilled weavers who invented their own color schemes and designs, Some people think that the Guatamaltecans must be our teachers, But this is not true. The beadworkers around the lake have never been on their own like us; they always get orders from their bosses exactly how to make the pieces and these workers never do any more than to copy a design. There are probably a few exceptions, still, this is the rule for how the beadwork industry works. Since the beads themselves are imported into Guatemala by foreigners going to vacation qho take advantage to pass the raw materials, the Guatemalan beadworkers do not have access to their raw materials.

The truth of all this is easy enough to demonstrate: ask the guatemaltecans make any of our pieces. They wouldn’t even know where to begin. On the other hand, show us a picture of any beadwork these people make and the next day we’ll reproduce that piece in an internet live stream. Fair enough? So, in truth, the artisans of Tecalpulco are  the teachers of the Guatamaltecan beadworkers, who presently are more like factory workers than real artisans (i am not talking here about the native amazing fabric weavers who are authentic representatives of the local traditional handcrafts culture). We love our indian sisters, and care for them, however, if the piece has no cultural content, then it is not authentic, its only a copy, its only a commercial item.

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