Huipils, Blusas, Rebozos: Shopping for Indigenous Clothing in Oaxaca

An essential stop for visitors to Oaxaca is the Benito Juarez Market.  Enter through the main arch on Calle de las Casas, make a quick stop to see the basket weavers and buy a few lightweight colorful pieces, then make a left at the first aisle.


At the second stall to the left you will find Señor Crispin Morales Osorio (Benito Juarez Market #230, Tel: 951-514-0859).   

This is where I took Hollie for her first Oaxaca shopping foray (or forage, you choose).  And the results are stunningly Oaxaca colorful.  She bought this beautiful hand-woven, hand-embroidered huipil from the Amuzgo pueblo for 800 pesos (that’s $58 USD). You can hardly buy a T-shirt in the U.S. for that price.

Hollie, an artist and participant on the Oaxaca Photography Workshop: Market Towns and Artisan Villages, wanted to absorb more of the local color.  I think she did it, don’t you?

Señor Crispin comes highly recommended by friends at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca for good quality at fair prices.  I have bought several things there.  Throughout the market you will find stalls selling equally good quality and more that sell schlock.  Check the seams, the quality of the finish work along the neckline and hems, the intricacy of the weaving and embroidery.  Compare prices before you make your purchase.

Now, it is 82 degrees in Oaxaca, a bit humid because of all the recent rain and a loosely woven 100% cotton garment that is not form-fitting feels really good.  And did I say again, it’s safe here!

Spaces open for Oaxaca Day of the Dead Photography Expedition, October 28-November 4.


7 responses to “Huipils, Blusas, Rebozos: Shopping for Indigenous Clothing in Oaxaca

  1. Lovely to hear about muy granpa, he still sells beautiful and unique clothes. Hopefully you can visit anytime.

  2. Hello!
    My parents are actually from Oaxaca and I used to go over there every chance I get, sometimes twice a year for the past 6 years! Now since I’m in school and living away from my family this will be the first year that I do not go. I love love love LOVE going because it is such a beautiful place with rich culture and traditions and lets not forget the food! I came upon this site when looking for clothes from Oaxaca and I have to admit I don’t think that I have ever been to the Benito Juárez Market, but of course if you remember there are so many stands and markets that sell clothes like the pictures above but the one that I usually go to, which I think is the most heard of, is the Mercado de Artesanias. I have to say that I don’t think that a lot of people know that there are shirts that can be of the same design but different prices and that is mainly because there are some that are hand made (the embroidery, design) and then there are some that are manufactured and you will be able to tell the difference because usually the ones that are usually done by hand are tend to be heavier and of course the more embroidery it has and the fabric that the shirt/dress is made out of will determine the price, which will be higher than those that are not done by hand. I would definitely one day want to buy the full traditional outfit (if that’s that correct word), basically what one would wear to the Guelaguetza. I always try to find other individuals who appreciate everything that Oaxaca has to offer and get their perspective on their experiences of the culture

  3. Wow and that is so wonderful that Senor Crispin is still selling wonderful traditional garments. I first bought from him in 1973 when he was the ONLY vendor who has textiles from the remote villages – that no one else had. Now there are roads into the hinterlands of Oaxaca so these traditional garments can find their way to market easier. But he’s still the BEST! If you are looking for something rare – ask him to bring out ‘cosas antiquos’ and see what he has hidden back in his piles.

    • A great memory, Sheri. Thank you. Yes, he has that back “room” behind the curtain that is floor-to-ceiling stuffed with beautiful textiles. There’s so much in that little space. if you tell him your price range and style you like, that helps him focus in on what to bring out. We probably looked at 20 things before Hollie made her selection, and that was only a drop in the bucket! He is such a dear man.

  4. That’s a beautiful huipil, if it’s the one she’s wearing! I so appreciate your posts from Mexico…they always give me a taste of that wonderful country.

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