Cecilia Gómez

Mayan/Tsotsil artist

"Cecy Gomez!"

Chonomyakilo’, San Andrés Larráinzar, Chiapas, México, 1992.

The thousand-year-old legacy of the Tsotsil woman continues to live in contemporary times thanks to the art of Cecy Gómez. Her media is the backstrap loom, in which she combines the materials of the land with pre-Hispanic dyeing and weaving techniques.

The value of Cecy’s work is twofold, its form and content they are equally relevant. On the one hand, the medium chosen by the artist prevents the disappearance of an ancient Mayan tradition. Her media is a political act, through which Cecy decides to continue weaving the tradition of her community. On the other hand, with her art, she reappropriates a work aimed exclusively at women. The weaver confronts the loom as a contemporary communication channel. What is typical to her as a Tsotsil woman has become her artist’s weapon, with which she transcribes messages that confront the present.

This is the case of Cosmogony man/woman (2020), where the most characteristic motif of Mayan textile art has been resignified. The artist’s personal identity as a Tsotsil woman thus bursts into a universal message. Around the origin of the universe, women and men meet to experiment and dream in a constant and equal collaboration. As the artist points out, “we grow together; we create together; we are all connected; we are all important”.

We also find it in Fire (2021), where the element itself becomes a metaphor for the different circumstances that converge from the coronavirus epidemic. On the one hand, fire refers to traditional medicine methods in which hot herbs are used for lung ailments. On the other hand, the fire alludes to the fever itself as a symptom caused by the virus, but also to the fever of the people, who, faced with the uncertainty and indignation caused by the pandemic, reacted angrily and finally set fire to a hospital in the area.

Cecy weaves the experience with the message, the poetry with the vindication, the aesthetic with the political. She redefines crafts from her value as an element of her environment and of her identity as a Tsotsil woman to “break down barriers”, as she points out.


Projects in which she has participated

  • Founder of the collective of weavers Kiptik.
  • Field coordinator with Aid to Artisans (international organization that advises textile artisans on design, quality and market).
  • Teacher in backstrap loom workshops as a contribution to the work of the designer Carla Fernández, in the United States and the Jumex Museum in Mexico City.
  • Chiapas textile Arte(sanía) in various forums in Mexico, Canada, the United States and France.

Artworks from Cecilia Gómez's catalogue


Cloth, wool dyed with natural dyes, brazilwood, achiote, cochineal, lion's beard and chilacayote
90 x 150.5 cm

We created this piece because of the violence that was experienced in the pandemic, with the burning of patrol cars and the hospital. Now there are no services or material in the hospital for health personnel to continue working. We included the fire, because people got carried away by gossip and not the right information, this generated a lot of anger and violence, they used fire to burn things. The fire also means the fever and the parts that have not been filled in are there because the pandemic is still going on, it is not over. On one side we included the representation of man, because the violence was caused by man. We also featured the wood because it was used to make the fire“.


Cloth, wool dyed with natural dyes, brazilwood, achiote, cochineal, lion's beard and chilacayote
70 x 180 cm

“This piece is a call to take care of the rivers that are our source of life. The zigzag represents the movement of water. When there is a spring, always look for ways. We represent fish that are also food. If we don’t take care of it, it will be contaminated”.

Man and woman

Cloth, wool dyed with natural dyes, brazilwood, achiote, cochineal, lion's beard and chilacayote
80 x 200 cm

“It is a protest about gender equality, men and women alike, we both have virtues to improve, by linking up to be a team in any activity together we advance better”.


Basic cotton and wool dyed with natural dyes from brazilwood and black mud with bitter grass
80 x 200 cm

“This piece is inspired by the identity of the human being and the representation of different languages ​​and traditions”.

Jal jkuxlejaltik (Life is long)

Black cotton thread 16/2, with ixtle, and silk, banana stem fiber, yarn thread
5.30 x 0.50 m

“This piece represents life, the relationship with people in the community and the city. The threads represent the blood that moves. Another symbol is the road; before there was no road, people walked on the sidewalks. The rhombus represent the center of the universe and the cardinal points. (Now because of television, social networks, we have lost our values). The piece includes the symbol of man and woman. There must be a reconciliation, a recognition –both are important –men and women can weave! Before they insulted the men who knitted, they said they were homosexual. But now there must be respect, it is an opportunity, there are discussions, a lot of criticism, there are men and women who are interested in textiles. There is also the frog symbol that represents rain and sowing in spring time”.