Estela Sosa Bautista (right) and her daughter and 2023 apprentice Benita Martínez Sosa (left). Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Estela Sosa Bautista

Zapotecan Textile Arts

Esta tradición artística es más que un arte en la vida de mi familia y mis ancestros, es nuestra forma de expresar nuestra historia, nuestra creatividad, y nuestra manera de convivir entre familia y en la comunidad.” – Estela Sosa Bautista

Estela Sosa Bautista. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Estela Sosa Bautista began learning Zapotecan textile arts from her mother and grandparents in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, when she was eight years old. By the time Sosa Bautista was twelve, she knew how to weave. The tradition has always been in her family. According to Sosa Bautista (see the quote above): weaving “is more than an art form in the life of my family and ancestors; it is our way of expressing our history, our creativity, and our way of living together as a family and with the community.” For example, making a sarape (a woven garment similar to a shawl) to sell supports their family, but it also brings them together. In the process, Sosa Bautista spends time with her daughters and teaches them the art, continuing the tradition.

Living Cultures Grant Program


Creating a Web Page to Promote Zapotec Textile Art and Demonstration

Estela Sosa Bautista received funding from Living Cultures to support the creation of a website that can publicize and promote Zapotec textile art, her family tradition for many generations, and use social media for a demonstration of how a sarape is made.

Benita Martínez Sosa. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.


Apprenticeship Program


Zapotecan Sarape Weaving
with apprentice Benita Martínez Sosa

During this apprenticeship, Estela Sosa Bautista’s daughter, Benita Martínez Sosa, will master the specific strategies for making a sarape by herself. She will practice creating natural dyes and weaving on a large loom.




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