The textiles you see in our boots are made by hand in the Chiapan Highlands in a small village of 2,400 people called San Andrés Larráinzar. The people from this village are part of the Tzotil indigenous Maya people and speak one of six dialects of the Tzotil language. They weave to provide an extra income for their families that otherwise rely on subsistence farming. Paying them a fair wage and providing a platform to bring their products to market empowers these women to provide additional income and support the well-being of their families.
Each design starts with the ‘muestraio’, a long thin piece of textile that showcases their designs one after another. The ‘muestrario’ from each village will be unique and passed down generation to generation. Even design is steeped in history, and every symbol brings with it meaning from the ancient Mayan culture. Most of the designs from San Andrés de Larráinzar are focused around a diamond which in Mayan culture symbolises the shape of the universe.
The women of this village use a traditional method of backstrap weaving to produce the intricate textile designs. It is a simple method, started thousands of years ago, that the women set-up at home by fixing one end to a tree and then passing a belt round their back to control the tension of the loom.