Surprises in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca: Handwoven Palm Baskets

OMG. Shuko and I went a little crazy in the Tlaxiaco (Tla-hee-ah-koh) market that happens once a week on Saturday, starting at 7:30 a.m. in the Mixteca Alta This is a tianguis similar to the one we find on Sundays in Tlacolula, but much more rustic. Recently, it was held in the town zocalo across the street from our hotel, but was moved to an open field on the outskirts about eight long blocks from the city center. Some of us got up at 6 a.m. to get there early on a quest for handwoven palm baskets, the kind farmers have used for ages to carry feed to their animals out in the fields, as well as other artisan wares.

We want to use the baskets for home decor and storage! They come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the woven material now is plastic, but there are still some made in the traditional way using palm fronds. These have softer sides and are light weight, distinguished by a woven carrying strap. Some are plain weave. Others incorporate black dyed palm woven into the basket body in geometric patterns. We hunted and hunted and found these hidden among piles of plastic ones. We also found some beautiful heavier duty baskets suitable for holding weaving and knitting supplies, toiletries, kitchen utensils, napkins, and more. The applications are limitless!

By the time we were done, we probably had ten baskets each! Now to ship them to the USA. Hahaha!

Come with us March 12-17, 2025, for your own basket shopping adventure. Send us an email to say you are interested!

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