The indigenous people of Mexico are known for producing high quality, vibrantly coloured textiles and rugs. States such as Oaxaca, Chiapas and Mexico State are home to many communities famed for creating these exotic handicrafts. Mexican rugs are primarily made from wool, using techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation and are still practised today. Knotted rugs made by the Otomi in Mexico State are a more recent development and have only been available since 1969.
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The Mexican Indians in the center and south of the country are celebrated for their innovative weaving techniques and artistic designs dating back to Prehispanic Times. After the Spaniards introduced sheep to the region, weavings became primarily made of wool with a cotton warp, though other fibres are also used on occassion. The invention of the spinning wheel and treadle loom meant they were able to create much larger and more intricate works of art than they were able to complete using a more primitive backstrap loom.
Mexican rug weavers incorporate many colours and patterns into their designs. Abstract renderings of stars in the desert the sky are very popular motifs as are geometric designs such as diamonds and “the eye of God.” Other popular inspirations include sunlight, forests, the sun, fiestas, birds and the tree of life. Regional Mixtec writing can also be featured as can elements of design that are influenced by weavings from other tribes locally and abroad, borrowing many common symbols from the Navajo.