José in Aldama
Jose and his family live in the tiny village of Aldama, north of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas. One of the crafts of their village is the weaving of maguey, the plant resembling yucca that is used in the fabrication of mezcal as well as in a number of woven textile goods. The bags they make require the thick spiky leaves of the maguey plant to be harvested, beaten to separate the pulp from the fibers, repeatedly washed and rinsed until the fibers are clean, then spun into a thin strong fiber that is then woven by hand into sturdy bags, washcloths, bath mitts, and other items. The bags, that are deceptively simple looking, take six months to make from start to finish.