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Report of Activities 2014 please find it here!





Nabolom and Pineda Covalin Event in Bern on Thursday 16th 2014

A Pineda Covalin catwalk with the latest fashion and a audiovisual conference about Gertrude Duby Blom's love of Chiapanecan textiles inspired by the Maya cosmovision.

The event took place at the Banquet Hall of the Casino of Bern, the greatest capital of Switzerland.






Interesting event co-sponsored by Na and Pineda Covalin on Mexican art of textiles


Na honored the Mexican art of textiles in Bern last 16th October with an event that put together the promotion of Mayan handicrafts, which Gertrude Duby Blom (Switzerland 1901, Mexico 1993) wore with pride and elegance during some five decades in Chiapas, as well as the modern way to transmit this heritage with a commercial twist by Mexican designers Pineda Covalin.


No doubt the topic of the occasion attracted a wide public, which reacted happily to both the audio-visual conference on Mayan Cosmo vision on textiles and its influence in Trudi’s personality, and the catwalk by Pineda Covalin.


The engaging start to our event was a presentation, by Na Bolom’s Vicepresident, Ivonne Meyer, on the life of Gertrude Duby Blom, a committed socialist since adolescent, which included her humanitarian work in Switzerland and in Europe at the time of the irruption of Nazism, and later in life, in Mexico, where Trudi took residence in 1940 transforming herself, as Ivonne told an attentive audience, into a writer, photographer, sociologist and in short, a unique fighter for the respect of our environment leaving behind a legacy which is more and more important in the world.


Few are those who know the colorful personality of the Swiss ecologist and photographer Trudi in Mexico. My conference aimed to divulge the other face of the European woman, who fell in love with the Lacandons and their jungle in 1943 and a decade later preferred to wear huipiles and enaguas (blouses and wraparounds), bags and belts, kaftans and tunics made out of fabrics produced in back strap looms by artisans from Chiapas’ highlands. To the amazed eyes of the public in Bern, an array of pictures showed the rich heritage Trudi put together in her daily wardrobe and the sumptuous and regal ones she wore for special events such as inaugurals of her photo expositions or the launching of her many books about the jungle and the Mayan Indians in Mexico.


According to anthropologist Andres Fabregas Puig, textiles are a vital way of resisting the forced colonialism that Indians were subjected to during the times of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Hadn’t it been for this sort of expression one would have never known the history of that culture.


Nowadays we are surprised by the revelation that those lovely cosmic designs from the Maya people disguised the transmission of the culture the colonizers tried to suppress. When we see intricate forms of trees and leaves, in reality it was their way to teach each other Indians the agriculture cycle; when we admire the forms of toads and jaguar’s paws the message is to respect powerful beings; when we are surprised with a sort of human figures in fact it is the representation of their God Hachakyum or any other.  Repressed they were not at all, and since the Spaniards did not know the culture they couldn’t have imagined that those designs were sort of history books to many, says Fabregas Puig.


Having understood the meaning of Mayan cosmovision, Trudi, no doubt, must have fallen in love with the silent resistance their Indian friends conceived in the art of textiles so as not to let their culture disappear; Trudi was a resistant fighter, not only she combated Nazism and ecological destruction, but she also consistently understood and took the side of the victims.


And so, Mexican textiles are nowadays rich in culture and an art of handicraft that continues to incite for their beauty and talented making. It is true that up to the late part of the last millennium most of the textiles were hand made and national products while nowadays globalization has eroded the perseverance of those who insist to preserve their basic instincts of survival. Natural wool, silk and cotton have become sort of jewels in the textile industry because the normal use goes now to synthetic and cheap fabrics; when once textile were produced in back strap looms or pedal ones, today they come from industrial machines. Even sadder the fact that consumers don’t value in real terms what they want to buy and bargain the price the original producers tag to their clothes without considering the time, expertise and love the artisans put into every and unique piece of textile they take to the market for sale.


Trudi, the majestic preserver of the Lacandon jungle showed herself wearing fabulous cloths her friends from Chiapas Highlands wove for her and, a “compadre” of her brought for Beti, her tailor, to converted into a dress; lovely and colorful jackets in the royalty color of red and blue, with embroideries so fine no French lace could match, or long tunics which combined a finest wool with silky finishing. Most probably those people who considered Trudi an extravagant lady were envious of her looks!


Following the presentations by Na, the Pineda-Covalin show came into action under the guidance of Anna Cervantes, CEO of Amity Trading Sarl, Pineda Covalin’s Representant in Switzerland. Rocio Covantes, Liz Aquino and Isabel Zeller, from Bern, and Ale Vera and Minerva Schneider-Corona (Na Communications head), from Geneva, attracted everyone’s eyes during their runway posing magnificent silk scarfs with various ethnic designs from Mexico; not only Mayan but Huichol, Aztec, Olmec, Totonac, Purepecha, Nahua, Otomí and many others; a carnival of color and grace, a piece of clothing that transform itself to the envy of the porter: from a classic scarf for one’s neck to a wonderful tunic or, even more spectacular, a huipil of modern allure or a beautiful bow to top your head. Pineda Covalin products leave everyone with a taste for more, and more you can get: bags, jewelry, decorations and dresses.


The evening at the Casino of Bern came to an end with the long awaited lottery; the precious price was nothing else but a Pineda-Covalin scarf with a Huichil design donated to Na by Amity Trading Sarl, won by Monica Ferrari, of Bern.


Many thanks to all who came to the event and to Na Executive Committee members Ivonne Meyer, Isabel Campus and Nuria Font de Berlioz who organized it, and the models of Anna Cervantes who worked with love and professional skills.


Kyra Núñez-Johnsson





Na First Anniversary in Wimmis


Event July 5 “Following Trudi’s childhood footsteps” Visit to Wimmis, in cooperation with the Wimmis municipality, on the occasion of the first anniversary of Na 


Invitations in EnglishGerman and French 


Some words from our President Kyra Nunez-Johnsson find it here


Article in German about Trudi and our Celebration in Wimmis on July 5th 

For more information please click here









To the curious question “what is the connection between Trudi or Gertrude Duby Blom (Switzerland 1901 – Mexico 1993) and the designer brand Pineda Covalin?” Na has the perfect answer!  Apart from the fact that both are Mexican, both of them designed clothes with Mayan motifs.  Trudi worked, promoted and wore dresses during half her life that were made of indigenous textiles and depicted designs from the Maya’s vision of the world and universe, while the designers Pineda and Covalin came out with a fabulous silk collection of dresses, scarfs, shawls, pens and jewellery branding Mayan motifs.


The Na & Pineda Covalin event last Tuesday 27th May under the coordination of Nuria Font de Berlioz, Na Secretary General, was a success in many ways.  It revealed to the public the output of the Swiss born Trudi in the Maya region of Mexico – she emigrated in 1940 - and showed her evolution to become a sort of Frida Kahlo of the magnificent Lacandon rainforest. The conference that started the event showed unique pictures of Trudi’s evolution from a conservative, albeit elegant, European woman to a Mexican who wore profusely all sort of ethnic jewellery and intricate patterns of symbols and designs from the Indians of the Highlands of Chiapas in her clothing.


Her appropriation of a new style around mid 50s, nowadays known as ethnic or fusion, was quite impressive in her days in Mexico where indigenous peoples’ dresses were then only considered “folkloric.”  Trudi travelled all over the world wearing tunics and huipils, blouses, pants and skirts which only the intellectuals and academician such as archaeologists or anthropologists recognized as belonging to the Cosmo vision of the Mayas – including their only descendants, the Lacandon people living in the only tropical forest of North America: the Lacandon jungle.


Na’s President, Kyra Núñez-Johnsson, in her conference “Textiles and designs of Trudi, inspired in Maya Cosmo Vision” spoke about Trudi’s life as a pacifist and feminist in Switzerland and Europe between 1922-1939 and most importantly for the subject of the event, her meeting the Lacandon people and how and why this secluded community accepted her as one of their kind. The pictures showing Trudi wearing her magnificent costumes were quite impressive as well as the interpretation of the motifs in each particular piece of clothing from more than a dozen indigenous peoples of Chiapas.


As for Pineda Covalin, it is a Mexican design brand that has now transcended America and reached Europe with a very sophisticated fashion produced in the highest quality of silk; all clothing evolves around indigenous peoples cultures being Maya, Huichol, Purépecha, Zapotec, Aztec and so on; consumers are becoming more and more proud of having Pineda Covalin items for every occasion.


Pineda Covalin’s Representative for Switzerland and North Europe, Anna Cervantes, Amity Trading Sarl, based in Geneva, brought in for this very special catwalk with Na the latest collection Summer 2014 modelled by attractive mannequins. There were lovely ponchos looking huipils and fantastic scarfs, all clothing light as feathers, colourful as tropical gardens and with intricate and delicate designs from all regions of Mexico. Cervantes told us that Pineda Covalin is soon coming with a Carioca Collection; yes, of course, to go with the Brazil World Football Championship! Many more items such as bags, bracelets or even notebooks were in the exhibit and for sale.


Na organized a lottery during the event; two first prizes were offered by Pineda Covalin: a designers’ history book and a silk scarf. For the anecdote: although the audience was mainly European, the winners were Mexican! The proceeds from the lottery are to be attributed to a Na project to digitalize a series of photographs of Trudi. She was a gifted photographer, more than 55.000 photos are in her archive in Na Bolom –her home and museum in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in Chiapas, Mexico- which she shoot during some five decades in the Lacandon region and forest.  However, there are hardly any pictures of her! So, the chosen series will benefit Na’s aim to make known Trudi and her life and work. Na will inform on the development of this project intended to be ready by 2015.


Thanks to all of you who made this event a very sympathetic one!


We hope to see you in one of our next events.


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