San Felipe Santiago,
Enriqueta Cenobio Calixto learned embroidery from her mother, who taught her when she was nine years old. She was so interested in it, that while she cared for the animals as they pastured, she made miniature designs on the rebozo she wore every day. Finally, her mother felt her work was worthy and she was given a piece of cloth measuring 80 x 40 centimeters - Enriqueta spent months working on the piece.
The embroidery technique that Enriqueta uses is done with two needles, as she simultaneously works with two different tones of thread, generally black and red or black and blue, which is the typical Mazahua style. Most of the designs come from the patterns that the family of Enriqueta has been designing over generations. However, as Enriqueta also includes her own designs, she has been working on art pieces that include various colors of thread.
Enriqueta has obtained numerous prizes throughout the years. On several occasions, she has obtained the Gran Premio de Arte Popular, one of the main awards granted in Mexico.
The Mazahua are an indigenous people of Mexico, inhabiting the northwestern portion of the State of Mexico and southeastern Michoacán, with a presence also in the Federal District of Mexican City due to migration closer to a city where more of their work might be sold. Their native home is high and cool with heavy rains.
The word Mazahua is of Náhuatl origin meaning "the owners of deer", probably referring to the rich fauna of the mountainous region inhabited by the Mazahua. However they refer to themselves as Hñatho. The basic economic activity is agriculture with corn, beans, squash, maguey and fruit being the principal crops. The Mazahua also keep the common barn yard animals such as goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, horses and oxen.