Saturday, January 27, 2007

Graciela Iturbide: Juchitan

Graciela Iturbide: Juchitan - Exploration of the matriarchal society of a pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1980s. "...Graciela first went to photograph Juchitan at the invitation of the Mexican painter Francisco Toledo. It is one of the oldest of the millennia-old pueblos in Oaxaca, famous for its legends, myths and oral history. It has a population of approximately 150,000 people, mostly of Zapotec culture. This region beside the sea is a land of women, where most of the economic control, religious power and social influence is in their hands. The Zapotecan language has not withered away like so many other indigenous tongues. The clothing, customs and the structure of the social life have been tenaciously maintained by the community. The same force that built the pyramids and sent the women merchants of Juchitan to the furthest corners of the Aztec Empire to trade. The women of Juchitan are large, voluptuous and colourful. Even the oldest women dress with flair, confidence and no concession to hiding age or the western notion that old means unattractive. Graciela's photographs capture their dignity, directness and tenacity."