A Oaxacan woman residing in Ventura County shares her love for Mexican crafts.
Catalina Almazán creates a cultural garden with flowers made with a very special material: the corn husks used to make tamales.
The flowers are made by hand, and her goal is to inspire future generations so that this tradition is not forgotten.
“I give you my love, my affection and that passion for colors,” Almazán said, to whom the colors remind her of her beloved Oaxaca, especially the Mixtec region where corn husks are part of the culture.
Almazán said she learned the craft from other Mexican artisans through the internet and now uses the corn husks to make bouquets.
She said it all started during the pandemic. Since then, she has shared the technique with friends and students. For the second year in a row, she will teach the children who will participate in the “Oye” conference for indigenous youth.
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““What better way to use them [the corn husks] and make them into art, not throw them away,” Almazán said.
The artisan says that it takes her about two weeks to have the flowers ready. The method requires soaking the leaves, dyeing them, letting them dry and ironing them out before cutting them out and creating the flowers.
Each flower brings her immense joy, but her satisfaction is even greater when she thinks about her goal: a future in which culture is not forgotten.
“I do it to rescue that lost treasure, the truth, and keep it present and practiced in our generation,” says the artisan.
This tradition allowed Almazán to obtain a small business scholarship in Ventura County that allows her to sell her creations at flea markets in the region.
“[I’m] very proud of who I am, where I’m from, and where I come from,” said Almazán. [I feel] 100% very proud to be a Oaxacan woman and businesswoman here in the United States.”