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Otomi textiles originate from the indigenous people of eastern Mexico, in what are now the states of Puebla and Hidalgo. A centuries-old craft in the evolution of hand embroidery techniques, modern Otomi textiles, known as tenangos, incorporate colorful images of plants, animals, people and activities. Both the real and mystical imagery of the textiles depict the Otomi cosmovision originally recorded in regional cliff drawings.
Otomi embroidery is a lost art still practiced today by a small number of Otomi people in the villages of San Pablito and Pahuatlán, in northern Puebla. Located in the remote Sierra Norte region, artisans may need months to complete a single piece. Their colorful designs come not just from memory but from their cultural identity, too, and every lively element of the design has importance.