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Finding peace and dignity through the spinning wheel


OUR BEGINNING:

SATYA-AHIMSA

TRUTH & NON-VIOLENCE 
  BELOVED BAPUJI

BELOVED BAPUJI

  TOOLS OF THE TRADE

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

 ZAPOTEC GRANDMOTHER

ZAPOTEC GRANDMOTHER

THE GRANDMOTHERS INSPIRE AND TEACH THE GRANDCHILDREN  

 CHILDREN LOVE TO LEARN

CHILDREN LOVE TO LEARN

BRINGING THE MODEL OF MAHATMA GANDHI TO SAN SEBASTIAN RIO HONDO OAXACA

Mahatma Gandhi successfully established such models throughout much of India.

This model was nothing new, he simply saw the law of sustainability...

Sustainability also implies a natural way of living, he applied this ancient way to help solve a modern day menace. 

Enough heard his call and acted to help liberate the nation.

Today it is up to us

  SACRED THREAD

SACRED THREAD

IT ALL BEGAN FOR MARCOS IN NEW DELHI INDIA WHEN THE MOVIE GANDHI PREMIERED IN 1982 . IT WAS AN AWAKENING TO SEE TRUTH AND NON-VIOLENCE PUT INTO ACTION. THE MAHATMA WAS SHOWING US AN ANCIENT WAY TO LIVE AND WORK FOR A MORE PEACEFUL WORLD THROUGH VILLAGE LIFE. 
 MAMA CHOFI

MAMA CHOFI

THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF SPINNING AND WEAVING WE CAN CONNECT WITH THE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE. IT IS A NOBLE WAY FOR A GREATER DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES. 

CREATING A THREAD STANDARD THAT PAYS A SUSTAINABLE WAGE FOR OUR TIMES ALLOWS UNLIMITED EMPLOYMENT POTENTIAL.  

 CHEO RECEIVING THREAD

CHEO RECEIVING THREAD

 SALVADOR, MASTER CARPENTER

SALVADOR, MASTER CARPENTER

LOCAL CARPENTERS CREATE THE TIME HONORED MODEL OF THE SPINNING WHEEL FROM VILLAGE INDIA, THE SYMBOL FOR DHARMA IN MOTION.


 ZAPOTEC SPINNERS FROM THE VILLAGE, SAN SEBASTIAN RIO HONDO

ZAPOTEC SPINNERS FROM THE VILLAGE, SAN SEBASTIAN RIO HONDO

TODAY WE HAVE OVER 200 SPINNERS SPINNING FOR KHADI OAXACA. TWICE A MONTH WE RECEIVE THE SPUN THREAD AND THE WOMEN RECEIVE THEIR PAY. 

 CHEO RECEIVING THREAD

CHEO RECEIVING THREAD

"BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD" - Gandhi

 
 receiving spinning wheel

receiving spinning wheel

To be the change one wishes to see in the world is a tall order. But not impossible, we can all take steps toward that goal. It most often takes a guiding light such as great souls like Mahatma Gandhi or a humble villager to show us the way. For most of us we are unfortunately involved in a world that is out of balance and non-sustainable. One way we can be the change is by the things we consume. The choice is ours, every decision we make however small or large can be the change you wish to see. 

 

What is Khadi

The mission of khadi is not merely to supply the townspeople with fashionable khadi that will vie with the mill manufacturers and thus like other industries supply a few artisans with employment, but it is to become a supplementary industry to agriculture.
— Mahatma Gandhi
 it all began with Gandhi

it all began with Gandhi

 Marcos Café

Marcos Café

 In 1974, a 14 year old named Marcos (Mark Brown) arrived in San Sebastian looking for magic. The great-grandfather of Eliseo Ramírez (one of the people currently in charge of Khadi Oaxaca), Donaciano López, brought him into the village. Throughout his young adult life, Marcos stayed there learning and living for several years before deciding to travel to India.

In India he spent many years and learned about khadi, the movement started by Mahatma Gandhi. He lived in Gandhi's ashram for two years (1986-88).

THE WORD khadi REFERS TO A FABRIC, USUALLY COTTON, HAND SPUN AND WOVEN BY HAND.

 Sabarmati- Gandhis Ashram

Sabarmati- Gandhis Ashram

Gandhi's ideology grew beyond the fabric itself: he proposed self employment and self sufficiency for rural communities in India, cutting their dependency on Britain's textile industry.

 
It is not enough to say that hand-spinning is one of the industries to be revived. It is necessary to insist that it is the central industry that must engage our attention if we are to re-establish the village home.
— Mahatma Gandhi
 

The KHADI movement

 hand made

hand made

In the ashram Marcos learned to spin and weave and so he started wearing only the clothes from his own thread and fabric. He began living the khadi movement.

Back in Oaxaca, in the 90's, Marcos brought a spinning wheel designed by Gandhi to San Sebastian and started teaching his family from the village (the Ramírez family) how to spin cotton with this wooden wheel. That wasn't difficult for the villagers, they are very good artisans and there's an old tradition in San Sebastian of spinning and weaving sheep's wool.

 hand spinning kit

hand spinning kit

In 2010, Marcos and his wife, Kalindi, began working with Khadi, through a coyuchi cotton thread workshop with more than 30 women from the village. Once there was enough thread, their good friend, Remigo Mestas, began turning it into exquisite traditional huipiles. Remigio's beautiful work inspired them to continue on.


Our mission, vision, goals...

 

This is not an ordinary business. Our ultimate intention goes far beyond a mere transaction, we are here to make a real difference.

 
 
 women at work

women at work

Mision

To engage in meaningful, culturally appropriate, materially sustainable artisan production that supports village life through cottage industry.

vision

To be a significant and reliable force for generating wellbeing, prosperity, and independence within the village life of San Sebastian Rio Hondo, Oaxaca.

 admiring the beautiful clothes

admiring the beautiful clothes

 indigenous women

indigenous women

VALUES (BEHIND WHAT WE DO)

  • A force for good: the common good
  • Homemade: work at home: cottage industry
  • Local economy
  • Independence
  • Inclusion of our elders
  • Village life
  • Cultural traditions
  • Peace and freedom
  • Dignity and respect
  • Harmony with nature
  • Relationships of interdependence

goals

  • Inject vibrancy and foster satisfaction in village life.
  • Contribute to the abundance and well-being of the families with whom we work.
  • Foster supportive relationships within families, within the and with the earth.
  • Improve community health and sustainability via innovative public works.
  • Promote resistance to consumerism and independence from corporations and governments.
 dyeing plants

dyeing plants

objectives

  • Grow a self-supporting business that is sustainable from the ground up. 
  • Create a strong and flexible organization that is resilient in the face of internal and external adversity.
  • To meet the consumer desire for natural and sustainable produced products which represent their makers and support village life.
  • Return profits to the village via community development initiatives focused on natural health, food sovereignty and environmental stewardship.
  • Create a working model for other Oaxacan cottage industry initiatives.
  • Educating the public on the toxicity of the textile industry.