Balam Huipil Remix

Communication Threads & Entwined Recollections.

Throughout the world, textiles have been used as one of the earliest means of non-verbal communication. Portable and long lasting, their exquisite colors, craftsmanship, designs, historic value and process makes them an important currency throughout the history of humankind. The Kesi, Tejido, Huipil, Tartan, Tiraz, Sari, Thirma, Kimono, Quilt, Kente, Diaphanous Linen, Tallis, Lace, Dhoti, Mud Cloth and Basket to name a few recognizable textile traditions, are conscientious and timeless sacred fabrics, some filled with images of human stories, ethnic patterns, historical importance and all charged with the electromagnetic narratives of their creators. Woven fabrics have always determined age, rank, gender, region of origin, social/political/religious affiliation or thought, revealed occupation, creativity, philosophy, lineage and the finances of the wearer. In some instances, the textile is a sacred protector from illness and harm or the center of a solemn ritual. Textiles became a sacred symbol and a power tool, Mahatma Gandhi spun cloth in public as an act of passive resistance for India’s independence. Textiles were the first technology invented by humans, and for most of subsequent history, technology has focused on textiles first. Their importance in today’s market is evident through the registration of fibers and dyes as branded products. Tomorrow’s fabrics will speak to us in the form of synthetic cloth turned into artificial arteries or limbs and catalytic clothing with built in electronic chips for surviving the global catastrophes of the future. These too will tell the human stories of their times and about the technicians who created them. Textiles are the threads of communication from the beginning of time to now, each generation learning and building on the legacy of our ancient textile craft visionaries.

- Victoria Delgadillo, Atelier Curator

Balam Huipil Remix is made in the style of a "huipil", a traditional Mayan blouse, that uses modern and ancient symbols and visually weaves a new story.

The 1st band of symbols from the top are the Hunab Ku, Om, and the Lotus which are ancient symbols of balance, light and dark, rebirth, and higher consciousness.

The 2nd band of symbols is the Nazar which gives protection from evil eye or protection from harm.

The 3rd band of symbols beginning from the left is global warming/destruction of water/climate change, the automatic gun is war and killing of people communities of color/violence/war, the corrn and tomatoes with a syringe is GMO food that is harming our food supply/plants/seeds, the tree stumps depicts deforestation across the planet, machine gun-violence, drones represents the destruction/killing/the collateral damage/wars/death of innocent children/women.

The 4th band of symbols is Oil drilling and its' destruction of our oceans and damaging affects on the earth, the Glaciers depicts the destruction of water/global warming/climate change, the Nike sign symbolizes our consumerism that creates child labor/sweatshop labor/poverty/displacement of people, McDonalds is the eating of processed food/unhealthy food that contributes to poor health/diabetes/heart attacks/cancer, the electronics/wifi depicts the disconnection to people/distractions/being present, Tanks symbolize the displacement of indigenous tribes/poor communities/destruction of culture/genocide/occupations/imperialism

The 5th band is the Nazar flanking this destruction, to protect humans from the violence that we are subjected to on a daily basis and our complacency of this destruction.

The 6th band are words in arabic and farsi, the first symbol is Love in Arabic and the second symbol is Peace in Farsi which repeats from the mouth of Balam or jaguar (warrior spirit). To change things we need more love and peace towards all individuals and the earth.

The 7th band is a bike symbolizing exercise/alternative transportation/slowing down, the book is about disconnecting from technology, the butterflies symbolizes metamorphosis of change/we need to transform.

The 8th band is the repition of the Hunab ku, Om, and Lotus, the connection spiritually to ourselves/others/nature, the boom boxes symbolizes the universal language of music and the drum beat of our ancestors.

The 9th band is the connection to nature/our planet/the 4 directions/cosmology and higher consciousness.

I weave a new narrative, an art Huipil, to heal, to transform the violence into peace, connection and honoring of our spirits.

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​© 2016 Dalila P. Mendez.