In the worldview of our Zapotec people, the petate (hand-woven mat made of palm leaves) was, and still is, a very important element in daily life and in our rituals, in which life and death are linked to this element. Life begins at the moment of birth on the petate, which later becomes the place where the eternal rest takes place. This important element is used in weddings, where the newlyweds kneel on a petate to receive the blessings of the family members, and in the ritual of preparing the sacred meals for the day, where a women kneels on a petate as she grinds the food on a metate (grinding stone). The cycle of life gives way to death, to reincarnation — in this stage the tradition was to wrap the deceased in a petate before they start their journey into the spirit world.

Rituals by Porfirio Gutiérrez
Rituals by Porfirio Gutiérrez

“Daily Practices”