Xochimilco, an entire village that is now part of the city of Oaxaca, is devoted to turning out its own style of bedspreads, curtains, and tablecloths. Large upright looms are used, and as one walks through the area, the soft clok clok sound of busy hands working the wooden looms is heard.
On the left of the picture you can see another of the city's crafts, that of silver filigree jewelry.
There is more than one village in the area known for pottery and works in clay. The famous black pottery of San Bartolo Coyotepec comes from Oaxaca, and the entire town of Santa Maria Atzompa is devoted to turning out both practical and ornamental pieces.
One of the better-known artists from Atzompa is Dolores Porras. This is a piece by her that I own. It stands atop my cpu and is over 25 inches tall.
Below is a table covered with pieces from Atzompa. You can also see some other Oaxacan crafts ~~ more of the weaving from Xochimilco, the local tinware, and a few carvings from the village of Arrazola.
Kerouac, the items found in a house would depend on a person's socio-economic group. Middle-class people have doo-dads & stuff, although not to the degree you or I know. For instance, I don't know any local people here who "collect". The bedspreads and curtains made in Xochimilco can be commonly found in homes and hotels.
The baskets are used by everyone, rich and poor. The tortilla vendors who go from house to house always use them, for instance -- probably the most common usage. Obviously the larger ones with colored patterns are more, but the plain, tortilla-sized versions are amazingly cheap, even with lids, @ 2 -- 4 dollars. The other woven palm items, petates (sort of tatami-like mats), are the beds of the poor and are also used for all kinds of things: displaying merchandise on the ground, bundling items, screens, etc.
The pottery stuff from Atzompa that I show is artsy/decorative, but that town also turns out practical items for everyday use. The same kind of clay pots that have been used for centuries are still in use for cooking. You can buy every size from something to heat butter up to something big enough to bathe in. The green ware from Oaxaca comes from Atzompa & is used by everyone. Also, untold numbers of bowls and cups are produced and are to be found in all homes, roadside stands, restaurants, etc.
Jazz, thanks for the compliment to my little lady. You'd probably understand my compulsion to angling her just so in order that she can gaze across the room. Also thanks for mentioning that there is a page previous to this one, as clicking from the main page of the forum brings you here.
I have a sense that people are delicately not asking, "Is everything so loud?" No, everything isn't. You can buy many textile items in beige tones, for instance. Everyday pots and casseroles are often just ocher colored, and much of the ornamental stuff can be found in subtler tones. Here's a vase I love that was given to me on my last birthday. It's from Atzompa, @14" high.
Your 'lady' certainly has a presence. Forums are tricky. Most of the time I read from the head of any thread to get a full understanding and appreciation, but I think that most people don't. Many of your Mexican threads make me think of the film, Frida.
I don't know that people should ask "Is everything so loud?" -- what you are showing is often a scene from a shop or market, so obviously there are going to be lots of brightly coloured things together. But one or two bright things look great in a plainer setting. I don't dress particularly brightly myself, but absolutely love the colours in Central/South American weavings.
I don't buy much at markets in S America because I realize that there is no point in buying stuff to leave in a cupboard. But I really like that green Oaxaca pottery, as well as your fish vase.
No, Kerouac, it doesn't leak at all. As a matter of fact, I'm using it as a decanter for that special, hideously expensive vintage I bought for you.
Bjd, I was probably reading too much between the lines. But people can be overwhelmed by all the exuberant color, especially when it's displayed outside and seems all the brighter. My sister has a great deal of stuff from Mexico in her house, but it doesn't have a "theme". It's not rowdy at all, in fact is exceptionally pleasing.
I know what you mean about slowing warming up to items, Lola. When I first moved here and saw the rugs and the green ware displayed in such abundance, it left me cold. I only started liking the rugs because I had to buy one for my sister and brother-in-law. That's when I really looked, plus gained a little knowledge and began to appreciate them. (the rugs, I already appreciated my sister & b.i.l.) However, I do think a thing of beauty is a joy forever, to coin a phrase, and a good piece of anything can effectively work far from its home.
3 girls visiting Oaxaca for the first time in early July- some of the items are really lovely- is it easy to ship things ? The clay lamps look interesting. Are all these pictures from the Sunday market right in the city ? Just happened upon this post and it's great and so timely for us!
Hello, Keds, and thanks for stopping by! You are coming to Oaxaca at one of the prettiest times of the year. I am excited for you girls ~~ you're going to have a fantastic time.
About shipping things -- some of the shops will ship for you. You can also pack up things and take them to the post office (across from the cathedral). However, do not seal the packages. They will want to look inside and then will make you tie up the box with twine. So, go prepared to re-pack your stuff and take tape with you in case they allow you to tape it up nicely.
Are all these pictures from the Sunday market right in the city ?
Keds, the photos on this page, with the bedspreads and the clay lamps, were taken at a very small temporary market right off the zócalo. However, you can visit the Mercado de Artesanías downtown to see a huge selection of local crafts all in one place.
The photos on the previous page of this thread, in Reply #29, were taken on a side street right off the pedestrian tourist street -- you can't miss it.
I think you all would really enjoy visiting some of the crafts villages to see where and how the various items are made and you can always purchase the things there also.
San Bartolo is the village where the black pottery is made. Arrazola is the home of fabulous figurines.
Yesterday was the gubernatorial election and since I needed to go downtown anyway, I thought I'd get some interesting shots of the voting process. Alas, I didn't even see a polling place, but it was a glorious day with perfect rainy season skies and a mellow light enriching all colors.
Walking east on Morelos. That's the church of Carmen Bajo on the right.
Taken from Garcia Vigil st., the front of the cathedral and its square
One of the reasons I had to go downtown yesterday was to pick up the apparatus that would once again allow me to offload photos from my camera. Thus, I was all happy and pointing and clicking like mad. As I went through the zócalo, I was pleased to see two modern fountains splashing away, just right for the flying water thread in Image Bank. Once I got home and looked at the pictures, I realized for the first time that the fountains constituted a different kind of photo-op than that which I'd planned. I really wasn't going for laffs!
You may have noticed the balloons in front of the cathedral in the photo on this page, and bunches more of them in Reply #3 on the previous page. I always check them out, amazed by the variety.
Lets take a closer look at the guys on the trikes, though. What the heck happened here? Pooh and Tweetie look particularly rough.
Gosh, I could kick myself for not buying that gorilla ~~ he's really fine.
I love the pictures of the streets. I don't know how, but your camera seemed to cool off the Mexican summer -- the street photos give me the impression of a balmy autumn, but I am sure that it is a bit warmer than 'balmy'.
Well, I'm giving away something that I like to keep secret: summertime here is much, much nicer than winter and spring, which is when the "snowbirds" come. People assume that because it's summer and the rainy season, it's muggy and unpleasant. Not at all. We're at a high altitude and the summer is the nicest season, to my mind.
Sundays are usually pretty quiet downtown, as you can see from the pictures. However the alameda (square in front of the cathedral) and the zócalo (main square) are always bustling on Sundays, with lots of vendors, families eating in the restaurants under the arches, and public concerts.
I guess the outgoing governor was caught at election time in the midst of one last public-funds-rifling project, because this is how the zócalo looked (again). Those plants are still in their pots, and there were huge amounts of others awaiting planting all around the square.
Here's just a little more of Morelos, as I snapped away trying to catch the clouds and mountains framed at the end of the street.
I wanted to add some information to my comment about the zócalo above. The very unpopular governor has engaged in many public works which infuriated the populace. Renovating the zócalo was one, and the other was re-doing the Fountain of the Seven Regions, a classic case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
If you wonder why this angers people, remember that this is a city with little kids selling chiclets or juggling oranges for spare change on busy intersections whilst perfectly good city streets are dug up so they can have pretty pavers installed.
Yes! And here's the real beauty -- the guy who won the governorship is the same guy who allegedly really won it six years ago! That was a big part of the struggle against Ulises Ruiz, the outgoing governor.
from The Washington Times: Impoverished and volatile Oaxaca is one of several states in which Mr. Calderon's conservative National Action Party formed alliances with leftist parties seeking to thwart a resurgence by the PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years and still controls many state governments.
The showing against the PRI in Oaxaca, a heavily indigenous state where the party was in power for eight decades, was highly symbolic. A five-month uprising erupted in 2006 over allegations that outgoing Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who was not seeking re-election, stole his election victory. Critics accused Ruiz of strong-arm politics that exemplified the coercion and corruption that the PRI used to govern Mexico for seven decades.
"These are historic victories," National Action president Cesar Nava said in an interview with the Associated Press. "... In Puebla and Oaxaca, the victory means a significant break with entrenched strongman politics."
Note the sentence saying Ruiz was not seeking re-election. He can't. The term of office is six years and re-election is prohibited.
Not really much for the trikes but the textiles and pottery -*gasp*- really lovely! And I read if you can get away from the touristy spots, the food to be had in the area is really tasty. Around the square and such is there a lot of outdoor dining? I always liked the outdoor dining in Europe because you could stroll by and choose your restaurant by having a look at what people were eating. Seems to have caught on here just a bit, a few restaurants in Dallas have outdoor dining. Surprisingly enjoyable despite the summer weather in Texas, so was thinking it might be nice there as well.
The side of the zócalo shown in #49 above is the only side that doesn't have outdoor cafés. That's the former governmental palace (another venue moved by the present governor), which is now a museum. In the far left of #47, you get a glimpse of some of the umbrellas at a café.
And really, you don't need to fret about getting away from the touristy spots -- there is good food to be had everywhere. I can think of three great restaurants in easy walking distance from the zócalo, right off the top of my head. You can get good meals right there under the arches, too. They might be a little pricier, but not outrageous and there is no better place to watch the world go by.