I bought my first nawas, the traditional skirt and apron that the ladies of Las Moras wear.
The skirts are full and made from a satiny material that comes in a variety of solid colors. On the bottom of the skirts the women attach the lista, a beautiful collection of appliqued flowers and leaves. The lista is sewn on with rows and rows of red and black threads. Over the top of this goes a mandil, an apron made in a similar way.
When the women walk, the colors can be seen far across the drab landscape. The skirt wooshes out with each step and the apron is usually whipped around by the breeze. At community gatherings pinks, flourescent yellow, oranges, and teals are mixed together into a variety of unique outfits. Since I normally stand out in my boring jeans and blah grey or blue T-shirts, I am happy to be able to contribute a little bit to the color of the area.
The ladies’ reactions to my skirt was entertaining, to say the least. They pulled at the skirt, turned the hems over for examination, and carefully critiqued the work. The general consensus was that it looked good on me, probably because I’m very white…and very fat. I took all their compliments in stride, and answered as any good Nahuatl lady would: “Yes, I do look pretty.”