Camelia Ramos Zamora was born on September 17, 1969, originally from Tenancingo,
but as she claims, she was reborn in Malinalco, State of Mexico. She is now the fifth
generation of backstrap loom weavers. From a young age she was attracted to shawls,
not knowing that her own father had been a shawl craftsman since he was 13 years old
but had abandoned it due to his economic situation to become a bricklayer. Enthusiastic about this art, she asked her father, the master craftsman Isaac Ramos, to teach her the artistry of rebozo making.
At first, Don Isaac was hesitant to teach her because traditionally the art of rebozo
making was a man’s job and the woman would focus on refining the rebozo ends by
twisting, braiding, and tying the ends. It wasn’t until Camelia’s husband, José Mancio,
had a conversation with her father about also learning the art of rebozo making that her
father showed up the next day to pass on his knowledge of rebozo backstrap loom
weaving under a training of more than two years.
Since 1992, Camelia Ramos has overcome gender stigmas by inheriting the knowledge
and work that was considered typical of men in her state. Her work meant the rescue of
the making of the shawl on a backstrap loom, the use of the ikat technique with natural
dyes, as well as the ancient rapacejo, following what she learned from her father. Then
he decided to go one step forward: she innovated in the design of garments and
accessories made with rebozos to transform into blouses or the traditional quexquemitl.
Today, Camelia and her husband José lead El Xoxopastli, an artisanal workshop that
makes textile canvas on pedal and backstrap looms to keep the traditional rebozo