Arts & Crafts

We have a number of types of art that we are grouping here under “Arts & Crafts,” for the sake of brevity and convenience. Protest/street/urban/public art is one type of art that we are featuring. It sometimes has indigenous themes, but it also reflects a more varied, mestizo community.

We will also visit indigenous communities to take a closer look at their arts, such as ceramics and textiles, and the imbedded cultural meaning they can have.  Some of what we are seeing as art is functional, such as pottery comales (griddles for cooking tortillas and the like over an open fire, from the Nahuatl word comalli).  Textiles can be functional and decorative at the same time.  We will be examining patterns in textiles as conveying a type of cultural text.

We are keeping our page on alebrijes (carved and painted wooden figurines), even though we are no longer organizing group visits to the Zapotec communities where they are made.  Of course, you can go on your own, and you will see alebrijes for sale and on display in the city of Oaxaca.

  • Protest & Street Art (with its own content and sub-pages, as shown below)
  • Gender and Art (see our Gender page for many examples of iconic female figures — such as the Malinche, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Adelita the soldadera, Frida Kahlo, and more — in contemporary art)
  • Pottery/Ceramics
    • San Marcos Tlapazola (an excursion site; comalli production and figurines)
    • Atzompa (an excursion site; an ancient ceramic community that still produces renowned pottery)
  • Textiles
    • Teotitlán del Valle (a textile town; an excursion site; where we will learn about natural dyes and weaving)
    • Rancho La Nopalera (an excursion destination; a farm where cochineal is raised; a natural dye)
    • Textile Museum
    • El CASA (in Etla; a former textile factory, now an art museum with rotating exhibitions)
  • Paper Arts
    • Paper (an emphasis on paper making, early origins, but also papel picado)
    • Amate Paintings (handmade paper, painted by Nahua communities)
    • Paper Workshop (in Etla; handmade papers; featured on our excursion page)
  • Alebrijes