Diverse Traditional Dress from Oaxaca
Dispite all the diversity of traditional dress in Oaxaca, there is one item of traditional dress that unites the majority of the different regions and that is the huipil. The huipil is a fundemantal part of traditional Oaxacan dress and it is different between each region and to a certain extent each village. The huipil is a long sleeveless blouse that can be down to the waist, as in the traditional dresses from the Isthmus region; above the knee, as in the traditional dresses from the village of Yalalag in the Sierra Norte; or below the knee, as in the traditional dresses from the Tuxtepec region. The hupil is used with a skirt (enagua) underneath. Not all of the regions use huipiles, the Mixteca and Papaloapam regions for example use a typical blouse and a skirt with an underskirt.
There is a lot of variation with respect to the decoration that appears on the traditional dress of Oaxaca; some of the things which are seen on clothing from Oaxaca include, humming birds, stars, geometric shapes and animals to name a few. It is also interesting to note the materials used too; most of the dyes are natural, and probably the most impressive is the purple dye which is milked from a sea snail found off the Oaxacan coast, that is used in the traditional dress of the costal regions. Other natural dyes include red from cochinilla, blue from indigo, black from huizache pods, and yellow from moss picked off mineral rich rocks. The natural dyes obtained to make traditional dress apparel are the same as those used to dye the hand-woven textiles found throughout Oaxaca.
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