National Geographic : 1914 May
Photo by Shirley C. Hulse THE MEXICAN FEDERAL ARMY GOES NOWHERE WITHOUT ITS WOMEN Soldiers are supposed to be paid daily and to look out for themselves as regards food and supplies of all sorts. The women forage and cook and take the place of a regular organized commissary department. At times they take active part in battle, and they are said to leave nothing of value on the field after the fight. which are used in Mexico. These frames are made somewhat like curtain-stretch ers, and from 5 to 15 girls gather around one of them and work for days and even months on the beautiful drawn - work table-cloths which come from Mexico. The best drawn-work is made from imported Irish linen, and the prices at which these pieces are sold, considering the work put on them, is ridiculously low. Pieces may be bought in Mexico City for $40 which could not be duplicated in the United States for $200. The designs are in endless variety, and each piece is so finely fashioned that it takes a woman's eye to tell which is the right and which is the wrong side. The Indians make all sorts of small objects to attract the centavos of the tourist. The little dolls of Cuernavaca, a half-inch tall and dressed in finely em broidered raiment, are the admiration of every one who sees them. The small clay animals, perfectly fashioned and ranging from the peaceful dog to the charging bull and the bucking mule, would do credit to the genius of many a sculptor whose name figures in the art publications of the world. DRESSED FLEAS But perhaps most wonderful of all are the tiny dressed fleas which may be bought in Mexico City. They are mounted in little boxes which are a little more than a quarter of an inch each in dimension. Here are a bride and groom, the former with her bridal veil and orange blossoms and the latter with his Prince Albert coat and silk hat; here are two ballet dancers dressed in true Spanish dancing cos tumes; here a bull fighter in full regalia; here a water-carrier with his water-jug. Another wonderful work of the In dians is the making of feather pictures from the plumage of humming-birds, now almost a lost art. Several persons are employed on each picture, blending the various colors of the feathers together in a way requiring extraordinary patience and care.