Indian language * American Indian culture * Indian heritage

Ixtle (Istle, Ixtli)

"Ixtle" is the name of a traditional fiber art of the Nahuatl and other indigenous people of southern Mexico. Ixtle, pronounced eesht-lee or eesht-lay, comes from the Nahuatl word for maguey fiber. The name for the same kind of fiber in the Amuzgo language is Tzja', and in Mixtec it is Ndaa. In these tribes, ixtle is twisted into twine, which has traditionally been used both for practical purposes (such as ropes, tumplines, and nets) and more decorative arts (such as sandals, clothing, and carpets.)

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Here are links to our webpages about the southern Mexican tribes and languages:

 Nahuatl
 Amuzgo
 Mixtec
 Zapotec
 Mexican Indians

Here are links to more Internet resources about ixtle:
 Twine from Mezcal's Agave Fiber Ixtle Sustains Oaxacan Tradition
 Wikipedia: Istle
 Tree of Marvels: The Maguey

And here are a few good books about Mexican indigenous culture:
 The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present
 The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations
 Corn Is Our Blood: Culture and Ethnic Identity in a Contemporary Aztec Indian Village



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