Mexican rag dolls

Few toys have been as ubiquitous over time as the doll, and few girls grow up without fond memories of at least one special one. Doll collectors seek to recreate that sense of wonder from childhood. But dolls can also have a place in appreciating another culture. While there have been clay figures found from … Continue reading Mexican rag dolls

“Human” Catrinas

Folk or popular art encompasses all kinds of creative activities, from the expected (like the decoration of pottery) to the truly surprising. It can cross lines into urban art, performance and more. Some have a history but others can be quite new innovations. Day of the Dead has roots in the millenia, but in past … Continue reading “Human” Catrinas

Sweet Death

The term artesanía roughly translates to "handcrafts" or "folk art" although cultural differences mean that the terms are not completely equal. For example, the adjective artesanal can and often is applied to certain processed foods such as bottle salsas, chocolate, coffee and alcohols if said products are made at a home or by a small … Continue reading Sweet Death

Creating a monster

Eleven years ago, Mexico City's Museo de Arte Popular created one of Mexico's newest and most popular traditions... the annual Monumental Alebrjie Parade. Originally conceived as "Night of the Alebrijes," most popular by far is the mid day parade of meters-tall colorful paper mache monsters rolling down from the main city square (Zocalo)  to the Angel … Continue reading Creating a monster

Cartoneros helping cartoneros

One of the hardest hit areas from the September 19th is the state of Morelos, particularly the town of Jojutla in the south. Alfonso Morales is a highly respected "cartonero" or paper mache artist. In Mexico, these craftspeople make piñatas, Judas effigies and many other items mostly associated with Mexico's festival calendar. But Morales is … Continue reading Cartoneros helping cartoneros