Frida Kahlo Turned Tehuana Women Into Icons of Beauty, This Doc Offers a Deep Look Into Their Culture

Lead Photo: 'Tehuana.' Courtesy of the filmmakers.
'Tehuana.' Courtesy of the filmmakers.
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The world knows of the beauty of a Tehuana woman due in large part to Frida Kahlo and her artistry, but who is the Tehuana?

In this new documentary, we get a deeper look into the lives of the matriarchal society based in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. As seen in the one-minute trailer, viewers will get a deeper understanding of the customs and beliefs of the Tehuana women, specifically of the community in the village of Santo Tehuana.

“The Tehuana woman is a goddess. A queen,” Diego Huerta, photographer and videographer, says. “The Tehuana is all of that; it’s a set of feelings and ideas, fight, courage,” an elderly Tehuana woman replies. The documentary follows Huerta as he travels to Santo Domingo Tehuantepec for 10 months, documenting the lifestyle and culture of the Tehuana woman.

“When I first visited the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in 2013,” Huerta tells Remezcla, “many people told me that if I wanted to know more about Tehuana, I had to see the documentary by the Russian cinematographer Sergei Eisenstein in 1932. I was surprised that after almost 90 years, no one has made a documentary where they genuinely show who the Tehuana woman is, how she lives. So without much thought, I decided to record the documentary Tehuana.”

The world has had part in celebrating the style and beauty of the Tehuana women, who wear their headdresses with pride, but now they will truly know what they stand for. “For many people, the iconic image of Tehuana is related to the painter Frida Kahlo,” he adds, “but it has nothing to do with Tehuana. I hope that through this documentary, people will marvel at a culture that for centuries, has known how to remain proud of its roots.”

Tehuana will be coming out soon.