Which market is best?

The state of Michoacan has not only one but two important state-level handcrafts fair each year. Both consist of outdoor markets called "tianguis" and competitions for artisans to show the best wares they are able to produce. Both offer the opportunity to see the best handcrafts of the state and purchase directly from artisans, but … Continue reading Which market is best?

Day of the Dead altars for novice spirits

The most important element of Day of the Dead in Mexico is the setting up of an altar (literally "offering" (ofrenda)) to honor the dead. In homes all over Mexico, these altars are of a personal nature, featuring loved ones who have passed on. Common elements include marigold flowers (which bloom at this time of … Continue reading Day of the Dead altars for novice spirits

Eye candy

Alfeñique is a sugar confection of Arab and Spanish origin which was introduced into Mexico to replace the Aztec tradition of molding offerings with amaranth (a kind of pseudo grain). The pieces are made from a paste which consists of powdered sugar, a vegetable adhesive, lemon and stiffly beaten egg white. The damp paste is … Continue reading Eye candy

The “Spectre” parade in real life

In Spectre, the opening scenes have James Bond chasing a bad guy through the streets of Mexico City, during a supposed parade of skeletal figures for Day of the Dead. Until this year, there was no such parade in Mexico City, with authorties starting one in 2016 in response to the movie . But the small colonial … Continue reading The “Spectre” parade in real life

Monsters through the streets of Mexico City

Tokyo has Godzilla, New York has King Kong... but since only one monster isn´t enough, Mexico City has monumental alebrijes! While there is some debate about their origin, it is certain that current form of these colorful creatures were developed and popularized by paper mache artisan Pedro Linares in the mid 20th century. They evolved from … Continue reading Monsters through the streets of Mexico City

Colorful, but in a more subtle way

Mexico is generally associated with deep, often bright colors and designs, but not all of its cultures favor such. One notable exception are the textiles of the Amuzgos, an indigenous people whose territory straddles the border between the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. It is near the coastline and used to extend to it, until … Continue reading Colorful, but in a more subtle way