diego pendant lights

January 8, 2015

What it takes to make these

For centuries, the people in the south of Mexico have made use of the tropical palm—a native plant that grows abundantly and wild.

The word ‘makaua’ in the Nahuatl —or Aztec—language has two meanings: hand to hand or the act of giving a hand.

More than 700 families are a part of this project and each and every hand that has touched these products is recognized and valued—each one makes this story possible.

Artisans use time-intensive techniques that have been passed from generation to generation, beginning with the simple process of cutting, boiling and drying the palm branches in the sun to achieve the perfect texture.

Next, they braid the palm fibers into long strands that make them more durable and easier to form into placemats, sun hats or baskets.

The strands are dyed with beautiful custom colors so that the artisans can create interesting patterns. They stitch the strands together, adding shape and dimension with colorblock bands that form the oversized frida and diego pendant lights.