Projects – Consolidation And Transfer Of Traditional Knowledge Of Ixtle Production. Valle Del Mezquital, Hgo.


Ongoing project

Description:


The Valle del Mezquital in the State of Hidalgo is one of the most marginalized areas of the country. It has a semi-desertous climate; therefore, water, animal species and vegetation are scarce. Maguey is the most abundant plant in the area and the main source of economic support of the Hñahñu families, which have accumulated generations of knowledge to use it in 20 different ways.

This project fosters the transfer of knowledge of productive techniques. It will improve the productive processes of ixtle by supporting self-construction of a workshop with traditional construction techniques and local materials, improving the productive process, and aiding commercialization.

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Context:


The “tree of wonders,” as the Maguey is called, is deep-rooted in the Hñahñu cosmovision; without it this ancient culture’s survival would not be possible. However, throughout the years, environmental conditions have forced the population to migrate in order to find better economic opportunities. As a consequence, a great part of the productive traditions have been lost, among others that of ixtle, maguey usage, and traditional construction techniques. In addition to this, the boom of alternative materials, such as plastic, have hindered manufacturers’ efforts to position their products on the market.

The El Decá community of 957 inhabitants is a vibrant example of productive force and willpower, and has resumed using maguey to revive traditional Hñahñu techniques through the production of ixtle objects. However, lack of a suitable working space has limited their efforts.

In view of the need for ixtle craftsmen to pass the knowledge on to new generations and to commercialize their products, Cooperación Comunitaria seeks to consolidate and transmit the knowledge of ixtle production techniques. This will ensure the self-sufficiency of the inhabitants of El Decá.

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Goal


Consolidate and transmit the intergenerational knowledge of traditional Hñahñu techniques of the production process of ixtle, by self-construction of a workshop, in which ixtle goods are produced and manufacturers trained, using traditional techniques and local materials.

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Project


1.SELF-CONSTRUCTION OF AN IXTLE PRODUCTION AND TRAINING WORKSHOP with local materials and traditional construction techniques, where the space will be used to produce ixtle goods and knowledge will be passed on to new generations. To contribute to the perpetuation of that tradition and transmit a written cultural heritage, we will collaborate to prepare a handbook in Spanish and Hñahñu about the production of ixtle products.

2.IMPROVEMENT OF THE PRODUCTION PROCESS AND COMMERCIALIZATION through training workshops and a reforestation program of endemic agave varieties.

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Cooperación Comunitaria Project

People responsible for the project: Isadora Hastings, Gerson Huerta

Project coordination: Chloé Rotureau

Project coordination in Germany: Ingrid Schild

Responsible for funding: Elis Martínez.

Responsible for architecture: Architect Jesús Álvarez. Architectural project: Architect Josué Olguín

Responsible for the productive project: José Julio Ávila

Documentary: Ana Paula Segura and Juan Nader (Chicatana Films)

Photographs: Isadora Hastings.

 

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