Las Flores is a small Nahua / Otomi community in the municipality of Ixhuatlan de Madero, Veracruz. Some Nahua women wear the traditional cross stitched embroidered blouse and a solid colored skirt with a pleat around the midpoint of the blouse.Robert Freund 10/25/2007
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Shattering my arm /shoulder in the name of textile investigation or how to lose 5 months of your life.

What can I say about Ixhuatlan de Madero Veracruz, I had tried to get to this place twice before, first through Sierra Tepehua / Otomi but was stopped by impassable mud. The second attempt was by crossing the Rio Pantepec near the town of Mecapalapa, Puebla. The road ran straight into the river 5 times. A the first crossing there was a small hand made bridge, but after that I had to ford the river in my car. I did get through 4 crossing but the last was a yard deep and I was unable to proceed. Which was ok since on my way back I stopped to have a beer with some Totonacan men and was told about a few other communities , in those communities I found some of the last Pantepec quchquemitls.

In order to get the Ixhuatlan I had to go around and in from Alamos, Veracruz. The Ixhuatlan region showed great promise as there are Totonaca, Nahua, Otomi and Tepehua in the municipality. After getting some tips from the local officials I set of on the fateful morning for the first town in my study Las Flores.
As is my custom, I parked on the road and walked in to find the village leader. As I approached his courtyard a dog came out, I started to back up and tripped on a pile of rocks they were using for construction. As the person that saw me fall said I fell “as if from heaven” . I shattered bone and socket of my right arm. They helped me up and took me to a “huesero” a bone healer. Thinking is was dislocated they raised my arm up and tried to put it back in place. OUCH!!! It was obvious that more was wrong than a dislocation. They laid me down and put me in a sling.

Soon after, a crowds gathered outside the hut were I was laying. This was a serious thing to have a stranger fall in the village. The main concern was an indigenous belief, that I had left my spirit on the ground where I fell. They had to return my spirit to me or all sorts of bad thing would happen to them and me. The traditional way to do this is to pass the animal over the spot where the accident occurred and then to cut hair from his tail. Them brought the hair and a brazos ( incense burner) into the room were I was laying and they threw the hair on the burning coals and bathed me in the smoke and had me breath it in. In this way I was able to regain my spirit. This sound strange to a westerner but it is real and vital to the belief systems on Mexican indigenous people that we be at peace with the spirits and that there be balance.

Being a true obsessive I was able to squeeze off a few photos with one hand of the traditional costume in the village

I lay there for 3 hours as they looked for someone to drive my car back to Ixhuatlan.