Antonieta's Big Rugs
|Antonieta, at ex-hacienda La Calera last month.|
I got to know 'Tonieta on the ride to the old hacienda. Doug had already told me some of her story. She sells rugs—tapetes—in the plaza of our little town. The rugs are made by her family. But her family lives 500 miles south of here in a little Zapotec Indian village in the state of Oaxaca.
So, for most of the year Tonieta lives here alone, away from husband, sons, and daughter, in order to be near the gringos to whom she hopes to sell her faraway family's rugs.
|A couple of 4'X6' rugs|
Almost all of the bigger rugs that Tonieta and her family have made are too heavy for her to move—twice a day—from the little house where she is staying to and from the plaza. As a consequence, she has sold none of these large and magnificent pieces all summer. Potential customers do not even know they exist since they are not on display.
|Antonieta's sales book|
At the suggestion of my thoughtful wife, and with the enthusiastic approval of Tonieta, Doug and I took color photos of many of the large tapetes, some as big as 8'X15'. We printed pictures of a representative fifteen and fitted them into the transparent sleeves of a notebook, along with the size and price of each. She now keeps this book on her table in the plaza, along with her smaller rugs.
Tonieta was very appreciative, and we all hope this visual aid will boost her business.