Strong and determined dancers need strong and determined masks

Sometimes the making of a traditional handcraft item comes full circle. This is the case for Chicahuales masks in the barely- Norteño state of Aguascalientes. The Chicahuales dance is a variant of the Moors and Christians dance that can be found all over Mexico, especially in central and southern Mexico. This dance was developed by … Continue reading Strong and determined dancers need strong and determined masks

The stone of colonial Mexico

Caja de Agua in pink cantera in San Luis Potosí (credit: Rosendo Photo) A distinguishing feature of the traditional architecture of central Mexico is the stone buildings found in the historic centers of just about all of the major cities here, and even some formerly bustling mining towns. The architectural style is mostly from the … Continue reading The stone of colonial Mexico

Of masks and mayhem in coffee country

Xico is a Pueblo Mágico, nestled in the Sierra Madre Oriental of northern Veracruz. It is filled with cobblestone streets and colonial houses, and the occasional horse is not uncommon either. This is coffee growing country and it is possible to smell it and chili peppers roasting at the same time. It was named a … Continue reading Of masks and mayhem in coffee country

Roses and Revelations- a tribute to Guadalupe in textile

Rebozo by Cecilia Bautista (weaver, Paracho, Michoacan) and Eddie Martinez (painter, City of Oaxaca) It would be impossible to overstate the importance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Mexican psyche. While most Mexicans can be rather skeptical about many elements of the Catholic faith, Guadalupe maintains a sense of awe and sacredness that perhaps … Continue reading Roses and Revelations- a tribute to Guadalupe in textile

Back and forth across the Pacific or Is it Mexican?

Before I write this post, I'm going to have to make a confession. When I first saw these crocheted figures, I immediately dismissed them... and for the same reasons that a lot of newer handcrafts done by women are dismissed. I simply assumed that it these were copies of some fad in the United States … Continue reading Back and forth across the Pacific or Is it Mexican?

“National” Doll Festival in Amealco

How a good idea gets smothered by competing interests. Amealco is a small town located in southern Queretaro near the borders with the State of Mexico and Michoacan. It is a largely Otomi area, where women in traditional dress and the Otomi language are easy to find. It has recently been designated as a Pueblo … Continue reading “National” Doll Festival in Amealco