On this page we are assembling resources that relate to our excursion to San Marcos Tlapazola, a Zapotec community where people for millennia have been harvesting clay from mountain slopes and making ceramic items, such as the comal (a Hispanization of the Nahuatl word comalli) — which is a large round griddle for putting over the fire and cooking tortillas.

Mural of indigenous women in a market in colonial times. Note the comalli over the fire, with tortillas cooking. Tlaxcala Memory Museum. (S. Wood, 2003)

A comal in use, Tlapazola (S. Wood, 2011)

Today, in many homes in Tlapazola, not only do women continue to make comales, but they also make figurines that they sell to tourists in the markets in Oaxaca city.

Hand-made figurines of one family in Tlapazola (Photo, S. Wood, July 2010)

Detail of a figure of a mother and child (Photo, S. Wood, San Marcos Tlapazola, July 2010)

Women potters of Tlapazola (S. Wood, July 2010)

Cristina and Marco (born in late 2012). Our visit coincided with her 22nd birthday.

Cristina and Marco (born in late 2012). Our 2014 visit coincided with her 22nd birthday.

San Marcos Tlapazola pottery making, video clips by former NEH Summer Scholar, Nicole Caracciolo:

San Marcos Tlapazola video playlist, taken by Vinny Civarelli Jr.