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Zapotec Culture and Weaving


Take a glimpse into the ancient history of Zapotec indigenous culture, located in Oaxaca, Mexico. Discover how the traditional weaving heritage has been an instrument in cultural preservation. Enjoy a visual presentation by Samuel Bautista Lazo, a Zapotec (Benizaa) weaver, to learn how the patterns and symbols woven into textiles serves as a method of preserving a living knowledge, discover plants used for dying these vibrant tapestries, and get an inside view of indigenous lives and traditional livelihood. Join us at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden on Friday, March 22 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM for an inside view of the Zapotec millenary weaving tradition, cultural and spiritual significance of ancient woven patters and natural dye methods.

Sustainably crafted Zapotec rugs, made by Samuel’s family will be available for sale after the presentation. Cash, check, Venmo, and credit card accepted.


Suggested donation $5 for members/$10 non-members. No registration required. Light refreshments provided.

Samuel teaches the craft of weaving through his own Indigenous Zapotec culture and history highlighting  the role Zapotec people played in the cradle of civilization. Samuel's home village, Teotitlán del Valle, has specialized in weaving for generations. About 80% of the working population of his village dedicate themselves to weaving or a related activity.

In his Weekend Weaving Workshop, Samuel will describe the evolution of Zapotec millenary weaving tradition, cultural and spiritual significance of ancient woven patterns, weaving techniques, natural dye methods, plant and animal fiber uses/processes, and the importance of weaving with respect in regards to avoiding cultural appropriation. For information and tickets to the Weekend Weaving Immersion Workshop please visit:


Samuel Bautista Lazo grew up farming and herding goats and sheep in the foothills of Teotitlán del Valle. His parents taught him how to weave when he was tall and strong enough to stand all day on the treadle loom. Samuel has been weaving since the age of 12. Samuel is the first person in the family to earn a bachelor’s degree. He then went on to study Industrial Engineering in Oaxaca City. In 2007, towards the end of his engineering degree Samuel realized problems within production and consumption system and the need for change to reduce the impact of manufacturing on the planet. That realization, led him to pursue a PhD in Sustainable Manufacturing at the University of Liverpool in the UK. After achieving his PhD, Samuel returned Mexico, to teach at a regional Technological University. He then returned back to his roots to revive the textile and rug making family business and to preserve his family's weaving tradition. Samuel is inspired to share with the world the ancient ways of sustainable production that has allowed the Zapotec culture to live harmoniously on this planet for millennia.

Earlier Event: March 9
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Later Event: March 23
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