As we already have a wide article about the vision, goals and path of Antama in our About Us page so in this blog we will share about our other team members and artisans.
Meet Samira !
We have found that for less burnout, adrenal fatigue and to enjoy our work life more, it's a necessity to support each other and work together in a team.
Samira summed up our team in the spirit of community. At Antama, many of us are parents with small children. We have teamed up to collaborate & help each other to thrive.
Samira is in charge of written work and manages the social media side of things.
She´s a mom to a beautiful son and has found the state of Oaxaca to be the most alluring place in Mexico. Originally born in the mountains of Kenia, but raised in Germany, what she enjoys most about Oaxaca, is the ethnic variety of people.
“When people see us here they often think we are native to the land - that's fun and makes it feel like home to us!”
Samira glows when deeply immersed in spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and prayer.
OUR ARTISAN PARTNERS
At Antama we have business partners in different families, who carry the wisdom of the creation of traditional textiles. The families are self organized and involve different generations in multiple processes of the craftsmanship.
For now we work in collaboration with 7 artisan groups around Oaxaca, we are 44 person working directly to Antama and our collaborations include projects with more than 200 families involved.
The families that work directly to Antama are in charge of different aspects of the production:
3 families weave the rebozos, 1 family is in charge of indigo dyes, 1 family weaves and dyes our natural dyed apparel fabrics and 1 family makes sewing.
Our collaborations include a community that produces organic and hand spun textiles with natural dyes. Apart of that we do make limited edition productions for example with organic silk producers and artisans that weave other natural dyed textiles.
As a part of transparency of our project we feel it is important and integral to share information about the artisans and procedures that are behind each piece you wear. We have talked with our artisan team members and decided together that it’s fair for everybody to share their stories.
In 2019 we started to collaborate with the García family to create new premium quality rebozos and textiles made out of high quality cotton.
Exquisite craftsmanship with an experience of various decades in weaving rebozos is shown in the beauty of their creations.
The weaving with pedal loom started in this family by the father of the two brothers Norberto and Rodolfo, who then taught the children. Sylvia learnt the art of knotting at the age of 10 and she has been cultivating her skills for 42 years now. She already passed the knowledge onwards to Marisol, Zaira and Brenda.
In an artisan group that still works with a traditionally based structure each family member has an important part in everyday life, including the work. Garcias are self organized and involve different generations in multiple processes of the craftsmanship. The artisans work from their homes, that are shared between the older and newer generations, and that's how the work and family life all bind together. There's no need to travel to work so the space is safe and weaving can continue also in these times.
This creates community and the Garcías wanted to build up something that would empower all the family. This together with the desire of making detailed high quality products is how they have continued for decades.
Traditionally men do the weaving on the pedal loom as it is the most physical work. Women concentrate in knotting the fringes.
Jose from the newer generation weaving the Nixtamal Menta rebozo.
This is Zaira making the knotting of the fringes of a Nixtamal rebozo.
At the time of the photo Zaira had a 10 month old baby, so working at home has been perfect as she can go with the rhythm of the small one and herself as well. In a family based group also a helping hand is always near to the one who's in need.
Find their work at the Gracia Collection.
SOCORRO & BETO
For years we have been working with
Doña Socorro and Don ALBeRto.
DON ARTURO HERNÀNDEZ
My name is Arturo Hernández.
I'm of Zapotec descent born in the region of the central valleys of Oaxaca in the town of Mitla (Mictlán "sacred city of the dead").
At the age of 7 or 8 years I began to get involved in the work of my ancestors as part of helping and learning within the textile industry, that their work was. I started with the backstrap loom, then with the dyeing of natural dyes and then after years with the pedal loom through which I developed a special feeling towards the textile.
At the age of 21 I migrated to the United States which was a total change of work and culture for me together with the need to get ahead. I worked two decades in that country, always remembering my descent and textile work.
On my return to my home I was able to set up my own textile workshop to start again. I opted for artisan textile work seeing on my return the textile market saturated with the same kind of products. I decided to innovate my textiles different from the others, returning to the natural dyes and designs created by myself.
Nowadays thanks to the textile I have been able to get ahead with my family and support other families. Through this work I have met people interested in the textile industry that care for the environment since our products and dyes are totally natural such as wool, cotton and indigo.
I feel very proud and grateful for this textile craft work.
Also Arturo's son Martin is involved in the weaving of the textiles together with other men from the town.
HERMINIA & EFRAIN
Herminia García y Efrain Ramírez,
by their own words.
We are originally from San Sebastian Rio Hondo Oaxaca, children of farmer parents and artisans.
We love our work as it is a heritage from our fathers. The craftsmanship has always been a fundamental part of the families in our communities.
We are a family of four; we have two children, a son and a daughter who we love very much. They are the ones who motivate us to move forward and just like our parents planted good principles in us, the same way we want it for our children. Like the love for nature and crafting.
We also are teaching young couples of the community so that they learn this beautiful ancestral work as well.
For us it is a pride when the people use the products that we create with so much love, as everything is made with our own hands and always inspired in the nature.
When the people wear our artisan made clothing we know they are supporting the families to have a more dignified and equitable life.
We wholeheartedly thank all the persons that support this project by getting a garment made at home.
Herminia García and Efrain Ramírez