“Pieces of Fabric and Conversation Blowing in the Wind,” featuring Las Hormigas Bordadoras de San Francisco Tanivet, by Angel Jara Toboardo, 2015.
Las Hormigas Bordadoras de San Francisco Tanivet, or The Embroidery Ants of San Francisco Tanivet, are a group of women from San Francisco Tanivet, a small village located in the valley of Oaxaca about 40 miles east of the state capital. One of only 300 villages left in Oaxaca, San Francisco Tanivet is a rural community primarily devoted to agriculture, planting native maize as their main source of food and income throughout the year. With environmental changes and minimal government support, these women struggle to earn and live on $13 USD a week while 60% of the villagers have relocated.
For the past five years, the Embroidery Ants of San Francisco Tanivet have worked diligently to develop a unique art form to tell their personal stories on recycled cloth. They currently work with cloth donations, reviving a lost Oaxaca craft of patchwork and applique. Today, these amazing women have become skilled artist in this art form.
As part of the current New Codex: Oaxaca- Immigration and Cultural Memory exhibition at The Duron Gallery, Judy Baca and the Social and Public Art Resource Center are raising $5,000 for The Embroidery Ants of San Francisco Tanivet to purchase fabric, lighting, tables and chairs for their studio and for the women’s livelihood.