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Tonaltepec woman, 1997
Photo by Eric Mindling

Tonaltepec lies in the hills of western Oaxaca, land that once hosted the powerful and artistic Mixtec city states. Eroded white hills and dry arroyos are the inheritance of this land, too long grazed and cultivated. Today, in Tonaltepec, folks make do with the wheat that can be teased from the soil and the bit of wool sheared from their flocks of sheep. Several families add to their fortunes by carrying on the pottery trade