Alicia Reyes-Samilpa, J. Antonio Reyes-Agüero, y Anuschka van ‘t Hooft: El conocimiento tradicional hñähñu de las características físicas de la fibra de ixtle (Agave spp.)


This article presents an ethnographic description of the artisanal production of maguey fiber in indigenous hñähñu localities of the Mezquital Valley in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. From an ethnobotanical perspective, that considers the physical characteristics of the fibers, a description is provided of the selection and extraction process, the preparing of the leaves before the defibration process, the defibration process itself, and the subsequent treatment of the ixtle (maguey fiber), as well as the carding techniques. Results show that both the selection process (species, variant, age of the leaf, and its central or marginal location) and the preparing of the fiber itself are variable but firmly rooted in local traditional ecological knowledge that corresponds with the required physical characteristics of length (cm), thickness (µm), linear density (dtex), tensile strength (N), and color of the fibers for textile production.

[Mexico, agaves, natural fibers, workmanship, traditional ecological knowledge]