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Arth224_Fieldtrip2_20thc Prints

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Henequen Plant, from "Mexican People" portfolio

c. 1946
20th Century
17 1/2 x 15 in. (44.5 x 38.1 cm)

Alfredo Zalce, Mexican, (1908–2003)
Taller de Gráfica Popular, Mexican, b. 1937

Object Type: PRINTS
Creation Place: North America, Mexico
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Accession Number: 13-G-3549E
See comment for 13-G-3549A

"To visit the “training schools” as these plants are called with their mechanical installations for extracting the fiber of the maguey is to witness one of the most interesting aspects of this work. The pressing machines are located near the platforms which are loaded with leaves. These mountains of leaves, each cut by hand, and chosen carefully leaf by leaf, already represent tremendous labor. These prickly leaves are immediately put through a complicated process. They are pressed, washed, bleached, sun dried, and then the fibers are combed. Once the fibers are separated by types, they are sent in packages to the rope and cord factories in Merida, capital of Yucatan, from where the finished product is sent to the markets of the world. Fiber and fiber making is the main product and source of income of this state."

"Visitar el “plantel” como se lo llama en el lugar, con sus instalaciones mecánicas para la extracción de la fibra de henequen, es probablemente, asistir a uno de los aspectos más interesantes de este trabajo. Al lugar donde se encuentran las máquinas exprimidoras, llegan plataformas cargadas de hojas de henequen, cuyo corte a mano, escogiendo cada hoja ya significa un trabajo tremendo. Estas pencas son sometidas immediatamente a un proceso complicao—exprimir, lavar, blanquear, y secar el sol, pienar las fibras, etc., etc. Separada la fibra por clases se manda en pacas a las fábricas de cordelería de Mérida, capital de Yucatán, de donde sale a surtir los mercados mundiales. Como es sabido, el henequen es el único cultivo de importancia en el Estado y su principal riqueza."
Current Location: Storage : Works on Paper : 16x20 : 4.1.80

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