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MEXICO

Exploring Mexico's Crafts
by Ron Mader

MEXICO WIKI

Para mí sólo recorrer los caminos que tienen corazón, cualquier camino que tenga corazón. (I only trek the paths that have heart, whatever path that has heart.)
- Mexico Notebook

 

FLICKR ALBUM: Oaxaca Folk Art


CRAFTS

Mexican crafts are sophisticated art. Fashioned from clay, woven thread, wood and reed, these objects express the natural world where they were fashioned. From the wooden figures (alebrijes) and wool rugs of Oaxaca to the clay pots of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua.

TOYS

Handmade toys are some of Mexico's most beloved crafts.

Trompos, baleros, canicas, yo-yos, rag dolls, pinatas
matracas, sonajas, silbatos, fautas, ocarinas
caballitos mecedores y aviones de madera, caballitos de carton para jalar
con rueditas, DF
coches de lámina, soldaditos de plomo
atrapa novios de paja, en Xochimilco
miniaturas en Puebla cocinas, muebles, ahora se usan como pequeñas vitrinas
"jugueteros", se venden como juguetes para adultos
Miniaturas tambien hechas con fibras,
Animalitos de barro en Amatenango, altos de Chiapas
las peponas de Celaya Guanajuato, carton aglutinado y policromado,
muñecas de trapo en el Parian en Puebla,
figuras con hojas de maíz, las mulitas

guajes laqueados en colores en forma de helicopteros, carruseles,
Alcancias de barro en loas ferias

KITES - Kites (Papalotes). Butterfly ('mariposa') in the Náhuatl language of the Aztecs, . February/March. Made with papel china

GLOBOS - Cantoya, Oaxaca

MARIONETES - Marionettes (titeres) are sold in front of the tourst hotels

LOTERIA - Mexican loteria is a version of 'Bingo' in which the colorful playing cards have images of traditional figures such as 'El Catrin' (The Gentleman) and figures that are a bit darker in color such as 'El Borracho' (The Drunk) and 'La Calavera' (The Skeleton). When a specific image is drawn, the name is shouted outloud and players mark their cards with beans (frijolitos).

Another popular game: Serpientes y Escaleras (Snakes and Ladders)

Do these traditional toys still play a role in modern Mexican culture or have they fallen out of favor?

Traditional Mexican toys have a special role in Mexico. Part is the respect of simpler times and simpler toys. We also see the incorporation of toys in contemporary art, including jewelry and paintings.

Are Mexican toys an authentic piece of Mexican culture?

Like most folk art, Mexican toys document an authentic slide of local culture. Many of the toys are created specifically for fairs and fiestas or for specific Saint's Days. Much of the adult folk art -- the elaborate wooden figures (alebrijes) -- are derived from children's toys.

Is there anywhere in particular the handicraft is especially thriving, or not so much?

TOY TOUR

DF - The Museo de Arte Popular has an exhibit focusing on Mexican toys on the second floor.

CHIAPAS - Little animals (animalitos) and toy Zapatistas

MICHOACAN - Wooden toys and children's guitars and violins

OAXACA SHOPPING TRIP: TOYS FOR KIDS

Maromeros, Matracas, El Arte Oaxaqueño
Telabrijes, Blackbox
Child-sized chairs, painted alebrije-style, Plaza Comercial de las Etnias
Traditional Mexican toys, El Raton Vaquero
Kites, Oaxacan Graphic Arts Institute (IAGO)
Pinatas, Mercado de Artesanias

ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB

b Fonart
b Museo de Arte Popular (Mexico City)
b Museo del Juguete Antiguo (Mexico City)


MEXICO


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Ron Mader



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