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Indigenous Mexicans Slam Intropia's Misappropriation of Native Designs

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March 4, 2017

Constanza Garcia Lopez, an Indigenous mother of Oaxaca, shows a traditional huipil dress embroidered by other Indigenous women (EFE)

Representatives of Mexico's Indigenous Chinanteco community in Oaxaca have publicly denounced Spanish fashion company Intropia for misappropriating its native designs, El Imparcial reports.

"Stop the cultural and textile dispossession of our peoples!" the representatives said in a statement, according to the site.

"We oppose the textile plagiarism of our original peoples and want full recognition of Chinanteca culture."

Textile artists, anthropologists, and historians held a press conference at the Textile Museum of Oaxaca where they criticized Intropia for allegedly plagiarizing Chinanteco huipil designs without giving them credit. Huipils are loose-fitting tunics with intricate designs that have been worn by Mexican and Central American Indigenous women for over a thousand years.

Intropia, according to the Indigenous representatives, sold replicas of huipils with Chinanteco designs as "mini embroidered Aztec dresses" and "mini dresses embroidered with zig zag details" without given proper credit. Chinantecos are a non-Aztec Indigenous group that allied with neighboring tribes to fight the Aztec Empire prior to colonization.

The Indigenous representatives said Intropia's products and their accompanying descriptions show "a lack of knowledge of the iconography and elements of the daily huipil that narrates their entire history," according to El Imparcial.

Read the rest at teleSUR

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