The word "Tenango" comes from the Nahuatl language and means "in place of walls". On the walls of this town, there are rock paintings inspired by the famous and colorful embroidery that is done in this municipality.
Tenango de Doria is a municipality in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, located in east-central Mexico.In addition to hosting pre-Hispanic and historical places, such as the church of San Agustin, patron saint to which they hold a popular festival on August 28; or "El Estribo" Its gastronomy is also worth mentioning: corn and banana tamales, cheese bread and piloncillo or metate chocolate delight the most demanding palates.Tenango de Doria, is also famous thanks to the fact that it is home to different communities mainly from the Otomi-tepehua community such as: San Pablo el Grande, Santa Monica and San Nicolas, where the colorful and traditional TENANGO is mainly made, this embroidery that immediately makes you think of Mexico.
This famous embroidery represents hours of work by the artists who create it. Yes, the artists, because to define and fill in the shapes of the designs that have already been captured by them, it takes a lot of precision, dexterity and a lot of patience.
On a canvas of white or colored cotton, silk and linen, the daily life, customs and worldview of the Otomi-tepehua community are captured with colored or single color cotton threads. These unique pieces, without equal or similarity to others, we can also find members of the wildlife of the region; as well as the occasional local celebration, the feasts of patron saints, carnival weddings and also the day of the dead.
What is the origin of the TENANGO ?
Although there is no exact theory, there are three versions that can explain its origin. The first one states that in the 60's a terrible drought caused a social and economic crisis; then it was necessary to look for an economic alternative for the community, and the answer was to draw and embroider on canvas the world view of the community, that is TENANGO.The second theory explains that there was a time of guerrilla warfare between the indigenous communities and the Otomies ran to take refuge in a place called "El Cirio". There they started to draw on the walls of the place and from these cave paintings the TENANGOS were born. The third is that its creation is attributed to Josefina Jose Tavera, native of the community of San Nicolas, where she is known as the initiator of the first TENANGO.
What significance do the colours have?
Just as we see that in the elaboration of the Eye of God, an important element of the Wixarika (Huichol) community, colors have an important meaning for protection, which is the primary objective of the TzicuriWe also notice that in the elaboration of TENANGO the colors express a language: for example, the red color represents the good, the black color the evil; the green color is the vegetation; the orange color the fire; the blue color, the moon; and finally the brown color, the earth.TENANGO embroidery is a heritage that struggles to survive against various factors of this capitalist sphere in which we live. Globalization and cultural appropriation are two situations that have threatened this craft technique in recent years. We remember how easily the big fast fashion industries, like mango, have "taken" the "tenangos" and made them decorate sweaters and other clothes, of course, made by machine, and offer them for sale at prices two or three times higher than those of the Otomies artists.To create a piece of 80 cm x 70 cm, the artist will perform the most precise stitches for 32 hours, after which their eyes will get a little more tired. Thanks to parents and grandparents who wish to pass on this traditional knowledge to future generations, children from the age of 7 onwards start to colour the designs and embroider them little by little, always clear under the benevolent eyes of an adult.You will find some pieces embroidered in Tenango in the solidarity shop.