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Mixtec of San Mateo Peñasco
Figure of ram woven from palm fiber

The town of San Mateo Peñasco is located along the highway to Chalcatongo, at the foot of a cliff that is over seven hundred meters high. At certain hours of the day, the figure of an eagle can be seen on the side of the cliff.


During the Colonial period silkworm cultivation was an important industry in the Highland Mixtec region, but it has died out in many parts of it. At the present time, however, San Mateo has a cottage silk industry that includes growing silkworms and spinning silk thread in the traditional way, with a hand spindle inside a gourd.

Spindle and silkworm cocoon
Spindle and silkworm cocoon


Barbara E. Hollenbach



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