Then the clothing brand Dior will present on May 20 a Tzotzil male garment belonging to Zinacantancall Pok’u’ul/Pok’u’ilinhabitants of that municipality located in the indigenous zone of Los Altos de Chiapas they sent a public letter accusing the company of cultural appropriation or plagiarism of the textiles traditional they use.
In the letter, they demand that Dior not change the name of the garment and acknowledge that the design is not his own and none of his collaborators; In addition, they ask that the Mexican government intervene.
They also denounce that according to Maria Grazia Chiuri -Dior designer who came to Chiapas to “get inspired”-, there was an alleged collaboration with a group of indigenous embroiderers, but this “was not carried out under prior, free and informed consultation with the entire municipality of Zinacantán, benefiting from this fact a person and his cooperative.”
They also state that “any person foreign to the language and culture of Zinacantán can buy, acquire or use the traditional garments of the town, as long as they do not do so for commercial purposes and in a framework of respect for cultural heritage”.
Dior presented the Zinacantán garment in its “Cruise 2024 Collection”
Dior presented the Zinacantán garment in its “Cruise 2024 Collection”, at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City. There Maria Grazia Chiuri said that the collection of garments was inspired by Mexican culture, but in reality there were handmade textiles from Oaxaca, Puebla and Chiapas.
Among the items was the Pok’u’ul/Pok’u’il, used by the men of Zinacantán. To this garment, the Dior designer made slight changes and mutilations: the central opening is longer than normal, the snich or tassels that hang from the sides and join each side of the garment were cut in half, and they added a belt. “We can then deduce a clear plagiarism/appropriation”, refer.
In their statement, the inhabitants of Zinacantán, who wear this garment in their daily lives, detail that according to Maria Grazia Chiuri the piece was made in collaboration with artisans from the Sna Jolobil cooperative in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and names Pedro Meza, a person from the municipality of Tenejapa, that is, a person from outside the municipality of Zinacantán.
They detail that there is the Federal Law for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples and Communities published on January 17, 2022 in the Official Gazette of the Federation; in addition to the Federal Law for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples and Communities.
In Article 3, Section XII of this law, it states that the misappropriation of cultural heritage is defined as “the action of a national or foreign physical or moral person, by means of which it is appropriated for himself or for a third party, in one or more elements of cultural heritage, without the authorization of the indigenous or Afro-Mexican people or community…”.
In this same federal law, it is detailed that to make use of one or more elements of the cultural heritage of an original people it is important have the consent of the people and/or communities to which it belongs, such consent must be given in a prior and informed manner, where the peoples and communities have at all times the right to grant or not consent to the use of any element of their cultural heritage.
“To the artisans and communities of the Zinacanteca culture We are outraged to see this type of action and we call what happened cultural appropriation.Since this is part of our cultural heritage and is also an important element in the identity of our people, it has a historical charge, a sentimental, ceremonial and hereditary value for us.