Disclaimer: The Field Museum's online Anthropology Collections Database
may contain cultural items and historical records that are culturally sensitive. Some records
may also include offensive language. These records do not reflect the Field Museum's
current viewpoint but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the time period
when items were collected or cataloged. Visitors to this site are also advised that
some records may contain names, images, and recordings of deceased individuals and
that some records document human remains.
We welcome feedback. The web database is not a complete record of the
Museum's anthropological holdings and documentation for a collection item will vary due
to when and how it was collected as well as how recently it was accessed. While efforts
are made to ensure the accuracy of the information available on this website, some content
may contain errors. We work with descendant communities around the world to interpret the
collections in order to promote a greater understanding of global heritage and, through
consultation, will remove information that is inaccurate or inappropriate. We encourage
and welcome members of descendant communities, scholars, and others to contact us to
confirm or clarify data found here.
Close this window
Weill in Oaxaca
Cynthia Weill is a renowned author of many award winning bilingual children's books in English and Spanish. These books for young children, known as the First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art series (Cinco Puntos Press an imprint of Lee & Low Publishers) utilize hand-crafted figures made by rural artisans from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Beginning in 2003, Weill began collaborating with artisans to create lively and colorful figures made of papier-mâché, wood, ceramics, and totomoxtle (woven palm). These anthropomorphic and human figures are then photographed and incorporated into her bilingual children's books, which include ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art Alphabets in Spanish and English, Opuestos: Mexican Folk Art Opposites in Spanish and English; Colores de la Vida; Count Me In!, Mi Familia Calaca, Animal Talk, Let's Work and Vámonos. It can take months for the artisans and their families to hand make the work for any given book. Throughout the process of working, Cindy visits daily with the artisans and their families. She has developed deep friendships with many of her collaborators whose work is part of the collection. All of the whimsical and artistically refined pieces depicted in her publications are now a part of the permanent collection. These works form a key part of the Field Museum's extensive collection of 20th and 21st century Mexican Folk Art.