Weaving for Justice is the major project of Sophia’s Circle,
a 501(c)(3) women’s art and cultural organization.
In 1987, anthropologist Christine Eber began eighteen months of field work in Margarita’s home in a rural Maya community in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Her research was significant, but more significant was the friendship and collaboration that lasted since that time and is still very active today. Christine and her friends in the United States started Weaving for Justice in order to assist women’s weaving cooperatives to sell their work through fair trade and also to seek support in the U.S. for the needs of the weavers’ families and communities, including scholarships for children to attend school past sixth grade.
At the meeting house inauguration in April 2016, Margarita honored Christine: “Long ago you came to live with us. When we were hungry, you were hungry. When we didn’t sleep on good beds, you didn’t sleep on a good bed. When we walked in the mud, you walked in the mud. You left, but you always come back and bring your friends with you. You planted a seed of supporting women weavers. Today we see the fruits of what you planted.” She swept her arm around a room full of some thirty women and children weavers and members of their families who depend on the relationships of solidarity begun almost thirty years ago.
Margarita’s life story in her own words, The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman: Pass Well Over the Earth, tells the history of that collaboration. Available from UTPress, http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/ebejou.html. Visit our online store to order the Spanish edition or to download the book to read for free.
We honor the hundreds of friends who have supported this effort over its history through memberships, donations, volunteering in the sales, and serving on the board. Working with Christine today in the Weaving for Justice volunteer board are:
Crystal Massey –Researcher and human rights advocate at Southwest Asylum and Migration Institute, Las Cruces, NM.
Patricia Gonzalez – Retired from the manufacturing sector and volunteer with Mesilla Valley Film Society at the Fountain Theater.
Janet Darrow – Retired professor and research biologist, turned videographer who is now focusing on the art of indigenous Latin American communities and the border region.
Kit Elliott – Retired community health nurse, now teaching part time at Pima Medical Institute in Albuquerque and Burrell Osteopathic College in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Volunteers with numerous projects in New Mexico including New Mexico Healing the Children surgical missions to Latin America.
Mary Kerwin – Retired nurse practitioner with New Mexico Department of Health.
Sarah Murphy – Librarian and former teacher.
Past board members: Elaine Hampton & Anita Rodriguez
To see “A Maya Celebration,” a 20 minute film of the inauguration of Snail Jolobetik on the internet go to: https://vimeo.com/176198628 and type in the password: ChiapasApril2016 The filmmaker is Janet Darrow of Weaving for Justice
“Maya Faces in a Smoking Mirror” is a full-length documentary featuring eight young Maya men and women, two of whom are weavers in Tsobol Antsetik, one of the co-ops Weaving for Justice assists. The film is produced by Bill Jungels and Christine Eber, founding member of Weaving for Justice. See a trailer and ordering information at www.mayafaces.com or www.carasmayas.net