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A Symbolic Movement

by Sofroina Timmons
Fashion is a cycle of a beginning, an ending and repeating. Styles come and go but tradition is continuous and seems to have no end. To enjoy worldly possessions that are hand-crafted in the same manner for thousands of years is priceless. That is the reason you will enjoy ancient hand-crafted palm weaving from migrant indigenous artisans, located in the South of Mexico from the state of Oaxaca - - this is a long history of palm weaving preserved and sustained with the help of two graphic designers from Arbol de Viento, Martha Gómez and Marisa Collado.

Intricate details and mesmerizing designs crafted with quality leather are key reasons that Arbol de Viento's handbag designs stand out from the rest. The current collection is named Mesoamerican Symbols, which designates a meaning to each bag. Hanub Ku signifies the galaxy center, Xim-im (Maya’s Zero) signifies before time (emptiness) and Cyclical Time signifies when time starts, ends and repeats itself.

Explain the meaning behind the name Arbol de Viento.
Arbol de Viento means Wind Tree. The name is taken from a sacred plant that the Huichol Indians in western Mexico use in magic rituals. We liked the name because it evokes the forces of nature and the way these forces impact living things. The tree is strongly anchored to earth. In an ongoing interaction, the wind caresses, moves, and transforms the tree with its invisible energy. In many mythologies, the tree is an axis that connects heaven and earth.

Tell us about what keeps you unique.
We think that our concept is innovative. It distinguishes itself because we make use of the ancient Mexican palm-weaving technique in our products. We combine weaved palm pieces with genuine leather and great quality manufacturing. Additionally, every model is inspired from an ancient Mexican symbol that gives the pieces their unique meaning.

How does the eco-conscious movement affect your collection?
Our collection tries to remind us that there is an invisible and timeless link between the cosmos, humankind, living things, and the earth. Whatever we do, whatever decisions we take, have an effect on everything else. We have to be very conscious about this. Our designs emphasize the incredible ability of our artisans to create unique pieces that mostly make use of natural materials that do not harm the environment: palm leaf, leather, wood, animal's bones, and the like.

What were your inspirations for the latest collection?
When we began to work in the designs, one of our goals was to preserve the cultural identity of the products but with a contemporary look. We wanted an original concept. Our research immersed us in the myths and symbols of ancient Mexican cultures. While in this process, we found ourselves surrounded by an unsuspected world of poetry and magic. This became an endless source of inspiration and delight. That is, we encountered a world that in many senses is a living world, within our own time, made of a fascinating mix of indigenous and European cultural elements impregnated with magical beliefs.

We have tried to permeate our work with all this poetry and mystery. We wanted to capture some of the spirit of this alluring interaction. We wanted to give expression to unique concepts such as the intimate relationship between the indigenous peoples, the cosmos, and the forces of nature. Also, we were captivated by their idiosyncratic understanding of time and by their belief in the impact of the cosmos in human's nature.

What's next for Arbol de Viento?
For next year we will continue with the same concept, we are working with new colors and shapes. Also we are including men´s accessories in our collection. We have been asked to do so because men also identify with the concept.

Where can Arbol de Viento be purchased what are the price points?
Our range of prizes run from $120.00 to $250.00. You can find our products for sale at boticca.com/arboldeviento and at our own website: www.arboldeviento.com.mx.

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