Oaxaca Benito Juarez Market Basket Makers
If you enter the Benito Juarez market via the entrance at the middle of the street called Calle Fr. Bartolome de las Casas in Oaxaca, Mexico, you will be greeted with the sight of indigenous women basket weavers performing their craft and displaying their wares.
Using narrow palm fronds they work quickly, weaving in an ancient pattern called “petate”, creating baskets, tortilla holders, and small jewelry and gift containers. These intricate, hand-woven pieces sell for around $5 USD, but many for much less.
The word “petate” comes from the indigenous Nahuatl word for bedroll, from when the natives used the weaving to create bedrolls to sleep on. They rolled them up during the day to make space to perform their duties.