Handicrafts of Coahuila

Mexican identity symbol

The state of Coahuila, particularly the city of Saltillo, is famous for the development of one of the most Mexican handicrafts, known and recognized around the world: the sarape.

Of the Nahuatl "Tzalanpepechtl", composed by "tzalan", that means "interwoven" and "pepechtl" that means "thick blanket", this so complicated word derived in a simple and near Castilianization: "sarape".

Its confection is the result of indigenous and Spanish elements coming from the Tlaxcaltecas taken to the province of "Nueva Extremadura de Coahuila".

It is estimated that the sarape as such was born between the years of 1696 and 1698. At that time, it was thicker, heavier and required up to two months to weave it, due to the complexity of the diamond pattern, a feature that I ended up defining.

Since always, the colors were part of their design, the wool threads were dyed with natural paints such as indigo. Blue and red being the base colors, sprinkled with cheerful touches of yellow, green and purple.

The sarape was, for centuries, an indispensable item for the Mexicans: it was a blanket that covered at night, a sleeve that sheltered in the cold when doing the work of the field, a sheet on the ground for those who spent the night in the country. It does not distinguish social position, the day laborers of huarache and blanket used it like the proud landowners ...

Coiled on the haunches of the horse or bent over the shoulder, the sarape accompanied military men, shepherds and insurgents, among many others.

Each of the country's historical events has been witnessed, accompanying all Mexicans alike. Adopted by everyone, regardless of where they were from.

Companion in the military expeditions, in the sowing, the harvest, in the trips and in the days of solitude under the stars.

The sarape is a national symbol. The charro suit, the most representative of the typical costumes of Mexico, contemplates the use of the sarape on the shoulder, carefully folded and carrying it always with pride.

In its simple weave with diamonds, with the history of the hands that carefully process it, the sarape is, without a doubt, part of the Mexican, and a powerful memory of history that makes us today feel proud, and envelops in the hope of dignity that evokes so simple fabric.

Artesanías de Coahuila

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