Costumes and Folk Arts

We preserve tradition and highlight our cultural connections through the fabric on our bodies and visual representations of our culture.

Creative Process

Since the foundation of Los Cenzontles, Marie-Astrid Do-Rodriguez has led the process of folk arts projects for the Los Cenzontles Band and our Academy. She and her mother, France Do, have made hundreds of costumes, implementing the traditional styles of rural traditions while creating pieces with new elements that highlight our intersecting identities. They learn the traditional designs from master artists and center the spirit of Los Cenzontles to create new pieces.

Los Cenzontles Fashion Show

Folk Arts in Motion

Our 2011 Folk Arts in Motion show, includes selected costumes of Los Cenzontles, modeled by students and performers. These costumes were created over a twenty year period principally by Marie Astrid Do Rodriguez and her mother France Do with Josefina Gutierrez also contributing to the wardrobe. This event was hosted by Linda Ronstadt. Watch here!
Los Cenzontles has created a website devoted to the expression of culture through fashion

Fashion & Culture

All of the projects we do at Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy are meant to continue the mission of amplifying our roots and using our own voice to share our stories and life experiences. We see, and admire, how easily our students can incorporate pieces of tradition, such as intricately embroidered blouses and beautiful handmade jewelry, into our modern, everyday activities. We are excited to provide our students a forum to express their culture through fashion, writing, connection and more. It can be a special opportunity for them to show what they create at the Academy, but the main goal is to let our students lead the way with their own creative ideas. Fashion & Cultura

Each year, our annual Día de los Muertos event is led by artesanía teacher, Marie-Astrid. It is one of our most interactive events with a community altar that follows Marie-Astrid’s vision and direction, and that she brings together with help from staff, students, and families. Guests are welcome to bring ofrendas such as images, flowers, and sugar skulls to commemorate loved ones on the altar.

Commemorating our Loved Ones

Living Altars

In November of 2020, Los Cenzontles created Living Altars, a video where Astrid and Eli, art teachers at Los Cenzontles, present altars that they carry on their bodies. They share how their altars connect to their grieving and healing process. This was our way to connect with our community when we could not host our annual Dia de Los Muertos in-person event. Watch Living Altars
Discovering Indigenous Textiles

Puntos de Vida (Threads of Life)

Puntos de Vida (Threads of Life) is a 25-minute documentary shot entirely by the film's subjects, a Maestra of arts and crafts and her two 15-year-old students exploring Mayan embroidery in Yucatan, Mexico. The trio traveled in early March, days before the pandemic shutdown, to various Mayan villages to meet artisans working in their homes and shops. They reflect on their experiences with candor and insight while capturing vibrant colors and cultural life with sincerity and appreciation. Watch Puntos de Vida
Creating New Art from Old Traditions

Tata's Gift

Tata’s Gift is a short musical animation that merges digital technology with textile work by Marie-Astrid Do-Rodriguez (inspired by the yarn painting and beadwork of the Wixárika, a.k.a. Huichol, people of western Mexico), video game imagery and original music by Los Cenzontles to tell the story of a young boy finding personal strength through connection with family and heritage. Tata’s Gift was directed by Dionisio Ceballos and produced by Los Cenzontles. Watch Tata's Gift