Summer is the time of year when we embrace deep in community. It’s the perfect time to disconnect from the digital world, connect with nature, and travel to new places. It's an opportunity for people from all walks of life to spend time together, celebrate one another and pay homage to our common threads, all while celebrating the differences that make us all so unique.
For our Summer ’22 Collection photoshoot, we traveled to Oaxaca to meet with some of our fiercest Zapotec relatives - Odilia Romero and Janet Martinez. A mother-daughter duo & co-founders of Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo (CIELO). It was a true honor to join them in their homelands dressed in #byellowtail and get a small taste of their beautiful and vibrant culture! For our first photoshoot stop, we met our friends at Criollo. As soon as we stepped foot into their oasis, we were greeted by the aroma of Oaxacan cuisine and freshly brewed Cafe De Olla. We instantly felt awakened and overcome with excitement to try everything on their thoughtfully curated menu by Chef Luis Arelleno. Not only was the food visually immaculate, the interior design of the space celebrated the natural elements of the land. With rustic colors inspired by nature, the space was adorned with furniture in various warm wood tones. Criollo transported us to their Oaxaca.
Check out https://criollo.mx IG: @criollo_oax
After a memorable experience at Criollo, we roamed the vibrant city of Oaxaca de Juárez dressed in B.Yellowtail. To soak in the beaming sun and be blessed with the breeze as we twirled beneath the Jacaranda trees, our senses heightened by the abundance of beauty that surrounded us. With every turn and every step we took on the cobblestone streets, we were gifted with color, texture, and poetic messages of resistance spray painted on the walls of the city.
During the rest of our week in Oaxaca, we were blessed to meet many Indigenous peoples across its fruitful region. We spoke with red clay potters, weavers, Zapotec fashion designers, artists, and the globally recognized and acclaimed chef Abigail Mendoza. All from different Zapotec and Mixtec tribes across Oaxaca, each artistic contribution was unique and distinct to their people.
Each community we visited, the craft of each is deeply rooted in their culture. Through their impeccable works, each artist shared the history & values of their people.
“It is important to highlight the brilliance and creativity of Indigenous people in the face of constant colonization. Changing the narrative of how Indigenous people have been portrayed directly impacts the way they are treated.” - Janet Martinez
Upon returning home, our biggest takeaway was there are so many beautiful similarities between our unique cultures here. Although we are Indigenous from the North, we could see ourselves, our families, and the same love for our places of origin embedded in the culture of our relatives in the South. Together, we must continue to create visibility and harmony across our communities while continuing to celebrate and honor our diversity.
Janet said it best “Solidarity amongst Indigenous communities is so important. Although we might speak different colonizing languages, like Spanish or English, many of our experiences are shared. We are fighting for our territories, our sovereignty, and the revitalization of our languages and culture.”
We hope this campaign is just that. We hope it inspires you and moves you to see the common threads of Indigenous communities around the world. May the colors and prints remind you of our beloved homelands, and most importantly, may they immerse you in the beauty and joy of community.
- Bethany Yellowtail
beautiful work, amazing to see, keep it going!