The focus of  the Museum's exhibits is on textiles and garments woven in richly colored images and patterns representing traditional designs that symbolize social and religious beliefs.

The state of Nayarít is the home of the Huichol Indians who are on of the most traditionally pure, indigenous groups in México due to the isolated locale of their five mountain villages. Many Huichol people still wear their traditional garments today. Made of manta, their costumes are lavishly embroidered in cross-stitch designs in vibrant colors. They are also known for their ornate beadwork creating jewelry and house objets d'art.


The original version of Papantla's ceremonial dress was created using hand woven material fea-turing beautiful embroi-dery. The modern version developed be-cause of the lucrative production of vanilla in the state of Vera-cruz. Today, women purchase the machine made organdies and lace to create their dainty dresses. The wedding dress is alomst identical to the ceremonial dress. The difference is in the way the quechquemitl (cape) is worn. For a wedding, it is worn over the head.  

Santiago Jamiltepec is a town located on the Oaxacan coast. Their tops, or huipiles, feature an embroidered trim at the neckline and on the sleeves - the ancient Mayan zigzag solar ray pattern. The Mixtec women from this area wear their huipiles in a curious manner. Married women pull them over their heads but do not put their arms through the sleeves, letting them hang loose, front and back.  An unmarried woman just wraps her huipil around her herself  as a shawl when going out.


Tamaulipas is ranch country, and their regional costume is styled much like our western wear. It is made of suede or leather with appliquéd designs in a contrasting color calle Soutache Braid. The best examples, from the town of Tula, feature the Mexican national emblem of an eagle or the Aztec calendar. Some may have the state's coat-of-arms or the racher's cattle brand. The complete outfits are worn to state fairs, official functions and national holidays. 


One of the most elaborate Apache ceremonies is a young woman's puberty rite that lasts for four  days.  According to their mythology, it was White Painted Wo-man who taught this important ritual to the Apaches. For the ceremony, a young woman was dressed in garments made of buckskin, painted yellow (the color of sacred pollen). The dress was then decorated with bead-work and fringe that represent the moon, sun, stars, and sun-beams. 

The village of Santi-ago Ixtayutla is on Oaxaca's Pacific Coast. The Mixtec women there wear a remarkable huipil, or long blouse. The weaver paints on top of her woven designs with purple dye then doubles them over to create printed mirror images on the fabric.  The purple dye, called purpurá, is made from liquid blown out of marine snails, called caracoles. They are gathered, milked and then returned to the ocean to create more of the precious dye.  

Currently on Exhibit:

A Stroll 
      Through México       
Open June 2015

"A Stroll Through México" takes you on a pleasant tour of the 31 states in the Republic of México as well as the  Distrito Federal. Experience the culture and history of this enchanting country embodied in its colorful textiles and costumes.

Previously on Exhibit

 Common Threads   
Binding Cultures Together
            (September 2013 - May 2015)

Common Threads explores some of the traditional clothing created and worn by indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere and examines the effects that environment, creativity, and colonial influence have had on these unique works of art and expression.   One section focuses on Native American costumes; a second section on wedding attire of Mexico and Central America; and a third on the Museum's Directors and items from their personal collections. 



            (September 2012 - September 2013)

   Land of Textile Treasures
    (September 2012 - September 2013)

Oaxaca is a state located in southwestern Mexico.  It is nestled between the states of Guerrero, Puebla, Veracurz and Chiapas with a long coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The seven regions of Oaxaca are the home to sixteen officailly recognized indigenous groups, more than any other Mexican state.  Each ethnic group has its own traditional dress, and often each village within that group has a distinctive style. It is estimated there are over six hundred different Oaxacan costumes.

The rough terrain and isolation of many of these villages is the main reason certain groups have been able to retain their own language and culture. All are renowned for incredible weaving and embroidery skills.
The work done by ancient weavers as well as modern day artisans are an important expression of cultural indigenous identity in






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