Tlacolula is the second largest city in the state of Oaxaca. It was settled by the Zapotecs in ancient times and maintains a strong Zapotec identity to this day, with the Zapotec language widely spoken in the region. It is a hub for the surrounding area and on Sundays, the big market day, throngs of people come in from the surrounding hills as well as from other towns in the central valleys. Well known for its color and traditional aspect, it's also a magnet for foreign or national tourists.
Our trio of intrepid Anyporters visited on November 6, 2016. Here is what we saw. Please note that the colored tarps overhead sometimes give an odd cast to things.
Right off the bat you know this is not going to be a bland supermarket shopping experience ~
I have to say, I am thrilled with your pictures! I thought I was being all kinds of crafty in sneaking photos of people, but you have outstripped me in that regard. If anyone has questions about products shown, please pipe up.
We go into and out of part of the meat market, then back in again ~
Three pork purveyors in a row. The hanging red balls are Mexican chorizo ~
Pick out what you want & cook it up on the spot ~
The man is sitting next to piles of ocote -- fatty pine sticks for starting fires ~
Love your pictures & love that we caught so many different things. I like your gunny sack head lady. I remember shoving you out of the way so I could snap her. If anyone is wondering, seeds in the sack in the picture above are for planting. The colors are because they are treated with fungicide or something.
Banana leaves, green mangoes, and corn husks ~
You can tell by this vendor's products -- smoked fish and totopos that she is from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. In Kerouac's 4th picture from the bottom in #8 above, you can get a better look at her regional dress ~
Now to visit the church. It's a relief to get into the cool gloom, but the real thing to see here is the chapel. The church was begun around 1535 (although you can see much of the decoration is from later) and the chapel was ornamented in 1585. The church itself is not exceptional, but lovely in its way ~
A glance out the front door. We won't be leaving yet, though, as there are glories yet to be seen ~
Ah, Kerouac did what I failed to do and showed more of the exterior architecture of the church. Also, his pictures remind me of what I focused on the very first time I saw this chapel. Really, how can you not goggle and marvel at all the bloody martyrs? I've been in the chapel numerous times, though, so this time I'll mostly show its amazing workmanship in a style known as "folk baroque". This church was originally a Dominican mission. Note the tiny Dominican friar high up in the wrought iron of the entry arch to the chapel ~
Martyrs flank either side of the door inside the chapel ~
There is also sweetness ...
... and light: there are mirrors placed high on the walls and on the ceiling to pull in light ~
Here we are approaching the altar. Note the large flower on the pulpit -- it is formed from the bases of agave leaves. This is a folkcraft here that is commonly used to adorn the outside arches of churches during religious celebrations. Many are also made and sold around Holy Week.
This is something I have seen in some other churches which feature supposedly miraculous images. People walk behind the altar table to access a tiny chapel. This one features a printed cloth that appears to be covering a window ~
El Señor de Tlacolula on the main altar. I have no idea what the objects surrounding the crucifix are, despite assiduous googling ~
There are two small but very elaborate chapels flanking the main altar ~
These two pictures were taken from the altar, look up through the hanging sanctuary lamp ~
I don't know about to shame, as I'm happy with some of my pictures. And in this section alone I love your girl with the pretty smile next to the fly whisk, the food porn chicharrón, and the close-up of the clock, just to name a few. Still, it would be great to see the camera captures from the other pair of keen eyes.
Starting tomorrow, this market will be suspended until further notice. This is a market that has been going since around the mid-13th century and you have to wonder if this is the first time it's been completely closed down.
The article reads: As a preventive measure caused by the Coronavirus pandemic in the state of Oaxaca, the Tlacolula de Matamoros City Council decided to suspend commercial activities in the community. In a deployment, the municipal authorities reported the closure of public spaces, archaeological areas, gyms and party rooms to the general public. Likewise, they announced the suspension of the Sunday market and livestock market from March 29, until further notice. Bars, taverns, and other nightclubs that generate an influx of more than 20 people will also suspend their activities. The municipality urged the owners of businesses such as shops, mini-supermarkets, pharmacies, general stores, beauty shops and mills* to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The municipality of Tlacolula called on transport service providers to take the necessary hygiene measures, in the same way it asked the citizens who have any symptoms to immediately go to the health services in the community.
*[Mills are business where people take their slaked corn to be ground into dough, so usually there are quite a few people gathered there waiting at any given time.]
Really, they are not all that naive, even though the traditional dress and all would make you think that they're out of touch with the modern world. A lot of towns, particularly isolated ones up in the mountains, have radio stations, often in indigenous languages. And of course cell phones are ubiquitous now. Those rural populations know what's going on. There have been news stories & photos of people blocking the entrance to their towns with boulders to keep anyone from accidentally importing the virus. And here is an official announcement from one town ~ www.elpinero.mx/cierran-entradas-a-sanjuan-yagila-oaxaca-como-medida-preventiva-por-coronavirus/
In that case, the rural people of Mexico are definitely more advanced than those of France. In France, they have every electronic gadget in the book, satellite TV and all of the same media as the cities. But they consistently feel that nearly all of the situations they see on the news -- civil unrest, disease, racial problems, pollution, strikes, etc. -- are reserved for urban populations and are caused by city people. And anything from which they themselves suffer such as unemployment, low agricultural prices, inadequate health and government services are all caused by the city people, whom they despise. And when there is a veterinary epidemic, it is always the fault of some other country in their minds. Add to that the evil EU rules that prevent them from dumping unlimited amounts of pesticides on their crops… They are absolutely always just innocent victims.