Search by Key Word
Sign Up to Follow Us
See-Do-Learn Travel Programs
Workshops, Retreats, Residencies. We offer hands-on, in-depth cultural immersion experiences in small groups, limited to 10 people. You develop skills and explore your creativity with lots of personal attention. We pride ourselves on giving you affordable experiences. Ask us about customized programs individually tailored or for groups.
- Oaxaca Arts & Artisan ExpoVenta–Show and Sale, This Weekend at Las Bugambilias B&B
- Oaxaca’s Monte Alban Archeological Site Key to Zapotec Civilization
- Oaxaca’s Grand Master of Pottery Angelica Delfina Vasquez Cruz
- Finding Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo: Photo Highlights
- In Mexico City: Popular Art–Folk Art Shopping Hideaway
- Oaxaca Show & Sale, July 25-26: To Benefit Artisans and Artists at Las Bugambilias B&B
- 2014 Dance of the Feather Schedule: Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca
Tagsarcheology art blogsherpa Chiapas class cooking course creative writing culture day of the dead dia de los muertos Eric Chavez Santiago Federico Chavez Sosa fiber folk art food indigo jewelry Mexico Mexico City Museo Textil de Oaxaca natural dyes Oaxaca photography poetry postaweek2011 pottery Puebla recipe recipes retreat safety shopping Teotitlan del Valle textiles tour tourism traditions travel Travel and Tourism weaving workshop workshops yoga Zapotec
© Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC -2013.We give permission to reuse the content on this blog, including excerpts, photos and links only when full and clear credit is given to Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC along with a link to the original content. Thank you for being respectful of this request. --Norma Hawthorne
Today, Monday, July 7, the Zapotec weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle begins its weeklong fiesta to celebrate its Catholic Church of the Precious Blood with a calenda de las canastas — the parade of the canastas. This starts in the church courtyard today around 6:00 p.m. Oaxaca time. Which means, it starts at 5 p.m. in Teotitlan del Valle because here, time never changes!
Times are never exact either. So, I suggest if you come today, you arrive around 5 p.m. and go into the inner church courtyard to watch the young women assemble with their elaborate baskets that they will carry on their heads in a procession throughout the village. The baskets are adorned with flowers and religious images. The women, who must be unmarried to participate, wear extraordinary traditional traje or dress that is indicative of this particular village.
Tuesday, July 8, at 8 p.m. there will be the introduction of this year’s Danzantes — the dancers who have made the three year commitment to participate in this ancient pre-Hispanic rite — in the church courtyard. They will dance a short program and then this will be followed by a festive fireworks display.
Wednesday, July 9, at 1 p.m, the Danza de la Pluma will begin in the church courtyard. The dancers will demonstrate their prowess for the next 10 hours, taking intermittent breaks.
Thursday, July 10, is a day of rest.
Friday, July 11, 4 p.m. Dancers process around the village
Saturday, July 12, 1 p.m. Dancers will be in the church courtyard until about 10 p.m.
Sunday, July 13, 1 p.m. is the last day of the fiesta and the dancers will be in the church courtyard all day.
There is lots of food and drink, and there is a fair with rides and sideshows to also entice you to visit. Have a good time!
This is a public service announcement! I am posting this with the idea that these two industrial sewing machines, deeply discounted, could be purchased to help a local woman develop her business. Louise Hopkins, who is selling them, says the machines are about one year old. Perhaps you know a Oaxaca woman in a village who might benefit from having one of these sturdy machines. The price is negotiable. Please contact Louise Hopkins directly if you are interested or know someone who is.
Louise Hopkins, email@example.com or telephone: (52)19541398371
From Louise …
I have a bag making business in Puerto Escondido which is a sister brand to the australian brand launched in Sydney and now distributing all over the world. We tried production locally but have moved it to Guadalajara, keeping only a small workshop at Puerto for sampling. I have 2 industrial machines that I would like to sell, one being a Brother and the other a Juki, both work well . I am prepared to drive to Oaxaca to sell them if you can suggest anywhere that might be interested. Thank you.
If you blink you will miss the turn-off to the village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco, just before arriving in Ocotlan de Morelos, where our friend Don Jose Garcia, known as the blind potter, lives and works. Some years ago, Don Jose developed cataracts and without expensive treatment, he lost most of his vision.
Along with his wife, son, daughter and son-in-law, the family studio is a folk art haven for primitive pottery fired in a wood kiln that represents, for the most part, Don Jose’s vision of Oaxaca village life. He has magic hands and has taught his family well.
Usually, people make this visit on busy Ocotlan market day Friday. Yesterday, Tuesday, it was quieter and we had the route to ourselves, except for the occasional donkey straying onto the highway. During our visit we discovered hidden treasures: sculpted bulls, marigold decorated planters, face urns, regal figures of Tehuana women carrying bouquets of lilies, pregnant mermaids and proud couples entangled in dance.
I always love bringing Oaxaca visitors here. The family appreciates the support and people are always mesmerized by the creativity. There are plenty of small things that aren’t too heavy that can be wrapped and brought home in a suitcase. I guarantee you will love the mermaids playing musical instruments and the jumble of clay figures everywhere.
Allow a full day to go, return, visit and have lunch at Azucenas Zapotecas in San Martin Tilcajete. You will want to stop at the women’s cooperative in San Antonino to browse the intricately embroidered blouses, at the wood-carving studios in San Martin Tilcajete, and look at Rodolfo Morales‘ stunning murals in the Ocotlan municipal building. If you have time, visit Abigail Mendoza in Santo Tomas Jalieza, too.
How to get there: Travel down the Ocotlan highway. Pass San Martin Tilcajete, the wood carving village. Turn right at the sign for San Antonino Castillo Velasco. Go to Libertad and turn right. Turn left on Independencia. Look for #24 painted on the door. On the roof are two large clay lions to guard the gate. Knock hard!
Fringe is a common thread for knitters, weavers, sewers and textile artists around the world. It’s a metaphor for finishing the edge, binding off, completion and embellishment.
Here’s what Jess wrote in Fringe Association, a blog for knitters.
Jess Schreibstein came to Oaxaca for a wedding in May. She wanted to experience something special beyond the wedding celebration. So she contacted us about taking a four-day Oaxaca Weaving Workshop: Dancing on the Loom with Federico Chavez Sosa and his wife, Lola, in Teotitlan del Valle.
A writer, artist, photographer, cook and founder of the D.C. Food Swap, Jess asked for customized dates that would fit into her travel schedule. We were happy to make this arrangement for her that included lodging and meals at a local guesthouse.
Here’s what Jess wrote to me about her experience:
I want to thank you personally for organizing such a wonderful trip to Teotitlan and my workshop with Federico. It was one of the richest weeks of my life, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity that you provided. Thank you!
If you would like a customized weaving workshop to fit into your travel schedule, please contact us!