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Time To Copyright Indigenous Designs? A Mexican Fashion Spat

Mexico should consider revising copyright laws to protect its traditional arts and crafts, after use of native designs by an international brand sparked anger

Look 13 from Caroline Herrera New York's Resort 2020 Collection that was accused to 'undue use of traditional Mexican motifs and elements'
Look 13 from Caroline Herrera New York's Resort 2020 Collection that was accused to "undue use of traditional Mexican motifs and elements"
Josephina Martinez

MEXICO CITY — The spat began with the June 10 letter written by Mexico's Culture Secretary Alejandra Frausto to New York-based designer Carolina Herrera and her brand's creative director, Wes Gordon. In the letter, Frausto complained about the undue use of traditional Mexican motifs and elements of its indigenous heritage in Carolina Herrera's latest collection, Resort 2020.

The letter, which showed evident frustration, listed its allegations of cultural theft, demanding an explanation for their use. The embroidery for "model 8 and 23," it stated, came from the "Tenango community in Doria, Hidalgo; these embroideries contain the community's very history." It added that "models 11 and 13 include embroidery from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which gives identity to women of the region. Lastly models 14 and 16 incorporate the Saltillo blanket." The sarape"s history, the ministry wrote, was intertwined with northern Mexico's foundation by the Tlaxcalan indigenous population.

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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