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NOVICA Artisan Petrona Gomez

Petrona Gomez

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I was born in a Maya village in the highlands of Chiapas. I have vague memories of my childhood, watching my mother weaving with yarns she spun herself. I loved how she handled the yarns and combined the colors.

I still remember the advice she gave me while weaving. She'd say, 'You have to learn how to weave so that you can make clothes for your husband. With weaving, you'll also have a way to sustain your family.' "Many people ask how it is that I learned to weave on the backstrap loom. It was simply by focusing my attention on what my mother did. She was strict. When a weaving didn't come out like she wanted, she'd unravel it and start all over again. It was a process of doing it over and over again.

"In the beginning, I created the geometric figures that my mother initially taught me to make. She told me to imagine that the triangles were the mountains of my beloved hometown.

"One of the materials we use is cotton thread, which is very common here. I enjoy the entire weaving process.

"I love to see my hands interweaving threads dyed in different colors and watching the threads become a beautiful piece of apparel that's a delight for the eyes.

"My greatest motivation comes from my children. They're my inspiration and objective every single day. Through my work, I hope to give them an education and leave them an inheritance but, most of all, I want to be a good example for them.

"The challenge in this beautiful project is that it's a full-time job. It requires me to practice tirelessly on the loom, to fail again and again and to learn from each error.

"My main goal is to consolidate this project. I want to share it with everyone I can and show them a little of Mexico's traditions. Without the legacy of previous generations, our weaving traditions would have disappeared by now."