My name is Frida, the person behind Dunaxhii.
My community still conserves the system of "uses and customs." Our Traditions are an essential part of our society. We are speakers of Diizha (Zapotec). However, although Zapotec is spoken mainly in the Valles Centrales, each town has a variant. Everyone's goal is to keep our mother tongue alive is vital for future generations.
For a long time, I lived far from my roots, my community. Somehow this impacted my life in many ways. I have experienced firsthand the racism and classism that we indigenous people suffer. But although it affected me for a while, this helped me reconnect with my roots and understand the importance of preserving our culture.
One way to preserve our culture and tradition is through textiles. My favorite phrase is: "The embroideries are the books the colony could not destroy." Artisanal textiles tell the story of communities that remain resilient.
Dunaxhii was born out of a love for textiles. One of our goals is to raise awareness of our consumption practices. Let's learn together how to recognize a handmade garment from imitations. Our mission is to transmit respect and love toward our culture.
Although we started working with master artisans from Oaxaca, we have had the opportunity to bring textiles and jewelry from other states of Mexico. Join us on the journey to learn little by little more about the process involved in creating each handmade garment. And give them the value they deserve.
Although I started with Dunaxhii, it's not just about me and my love for textiles. On this adventure, my husband and in-laws embarked with me to explore the wonderful world of textiles.
The true protagonists are the artisans who spend their time creating beautiful works of art. In each piece, they put a tiny part of their heart.
Without the authorization of the master artisans, this would not be possible.
Behind the meaning of Dunaxhii :
From a very young age, the legend of Princess Donaji impressed me. I always wanted to participate in this play ( Princesa Donaji is a performance before the Guelaguetza).
Unfortunately, my dream could never come true, but since then, I knew that Donaji would be an essential part of my life somehow.
When we started this adventure, I was always clear about what I wanted to reflect on and the image I wanted to show the public.
Donaji was the first name I considered, but it felt like something other than the name fit. I kept searching for a name that would represent who we are. So while I kept looking for a name that had the essence I wanted to convey. Donaji never left my mind.
Then, I began to read more about the diversity of the Oaxacan culture. Despite being from Oaxaca, I realized I needed to learn more about our culture, especially the Zapotec (to which we belong).
The information I found caught my attention that in Zapotec (a variant of the Isthmus region), Donaji is spelled Dunaxhii. I have to mention Dunaxhii; it's written in different ways.
We selected Dunaxhii (in this way) so that it would be easy to pronounce and it would be easy to be identified among many artisanal stores.
Although Dunaxhii has the essence of princess Donaji, it has become essential in my life. Some customers even call me Dunaxhii or Alma, and of course, I love it because Dunaxhii has fulfilled one of its purposes.
Dunaxhii ~ Alma Zapotec represents many things related to my ancestry. It is the essence of the colors and culture of the native peoples—our mother tongue.
Mainly it is our love for our culture and traditions, which continues to prevail today thanks to the dedication of the artisan of different communities. Thanks to them for the love and wisdom they transmit in each textile, jewelry, and other artesanias.
Dunaxhii represents indigenous Oaxacan women; wherever we go, we proudly represent our culture, tradition, and people.