Edward Weston (American, 1885–1958), Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera during their work on the murals in San Francisco, 1930, gelatin silver print. Gift of Audrey and Bernard Berman, 1983. (1983.53.3)

Learn more about Frida Kahlo’s traditional Tehuana clothing by creating paper dolls and decorating with colorful patterns.

Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous internationally known artists. She was a surrealist painter that created artworks inspired by her life–many of which are symbolic of her pain and sadness.

Kahlo was not known only for her work, but also remembered for her activism in defending the cultural traditions of her native country, Mexico. In this photograph, we can see an example of her wardrobe. Even in black and white, we can see the many patterns and colors she wore. Kahlo was known for her bright and colorful clothing and carefully arranged hair. Through wearing traditional Tehuana clothing, Kahlo asserted her identity as a person of indigenous Mexican heritage.

The fashion of the Tehuana people, especially the women, was bright and colorful. Tehuana textile makers used lots of geometric patterns and designs, and sometimes contained flowers and animals.


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