Tag Archives: folk art

Oaxaca Deep Dive: Cooking, Culture + Craft Tour

Jump into the magic of Oaxaca, Mexico, from January 11 to 17, 2025. During this six-night, seven-day immersion tour you will discover (almost) everything this UNESCO World Heritage city has to offer. You will take a hands-on cooking class from a traditional chef who uses an outdoor wood-fired kitchen to prepare acclaimed pre-Hispanic dishes, visit the bustling Mercado de Abastos to shop, taste and savor artisanal mezcal especially distilled from rare wild agave, visit outstanding makers of craft and textiles that distinguish Oaxaca and elevate her above and beyond any place in the world, sample street tacos, take a graphic arts and printmaking workshop from a renowned artist, and enjoy the best that Oaxaca has to offer. Recap it all at our Grand Finale Dinner at one of Oaxaca’s top restaurants. A perfect Oaxaca Visitor’s Tour.

We will be based in one of Oaxaca’s most trendy, vibrant neighborhoods where murals will dazzle you, coffee bars will delight you, restaurants will tempt you, and galleries will excite you.

PRELIMINARY ITINERARY

Day 1 – Saturday, January 11. Arrive to Oaxaca, check into our comfortable hotel located in one of the city’s most captivating neighborhoods filled with murals, galleries, coffee bars. Meet for a no host dinner at 6:00 pm. We suggest you arrive before 3 p.m. today. Meals included: none.

Day 2 – Sunday, January 12.  Today we start with an orientation and introduction during breakfast. Then we get in the van for a short trip to Santa María Atzompa, where we will meet a traditional cook who specializes in pre-Hispanic food prepared in an outdoor smoke kitchen called Cocina de Humo. First, she takes us on a culinary shopping tour of Mercado de Abastos, the largest Oaxaca market, to procure all the ingredients we need. After our workshop and delicious lunch, we will visit our friend Rufina who specializes in making pottery with lead-free glazes and oxygen reduction techniques. We will return to the hotel in time for you to enjoy Margaritas and dinner on your own. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 3 – Monday, January 13.  After breakfast, our luxury van takes us deep into the Ocotlan Valley.  We call this the Handcraft Route since it takes us through black pottery studios, embroidery workshops, and wood-carving spaces. We introduce you to the famed painter Rodolfo Morales who created extraordinary murals of rural life in the municipal building and then move on to meet a cooperative of embroiderers where we will learn about the different techniques used for ceremonial garments in San Antonino Castillo Velasco. Our lunch is at an outdoor kitchen in San Martin Tilcajete, one of our favorite spots for relaxed al fresco dining. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 4 – Tuesday, January 14. Wear your comfortable shoes for a city walking tour – we will cover a lot of territory!  First, we stop to meet our artist friends at a printmaking collective gallery, learn about the rich graphic art movement in Oaxaca, and take a deep dive into learning more about lithography by taking a workshop. We guide you every step of the way.  After a lunch of street tacos at one of our favorite taquerias, we recharge and refresh, then carry on to the Benito Juarez Market, the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, and a noted folk art gallery. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 5 – Wednesday, January 15. Weaving is Us! Today we travel to Teotitlán del Valle, the famed tapestry weaving village forty minutes outside the city to meet our family of weavers who create outstanding traditional and contemporary designs using all natural, sustainable dyes. Then, we visit a cooperative of women who specialize in making bags and purses from leather and tapestries. After lunch on the way to Mitla, we will meet up with our friend Arturo for a demonstration on flying shuttle land back strap loom weaving techniques. Home goods are his speciality! 

Then we will stop at our favorite Palenque – the distillery — to learn everything about how artisanal mezcal is made, ending our day with a tasting of rare wild and espadin agave spirits. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 6 – Thursday, January 16.  After breakfast you are on your own to explore the city at your leisure until we meet at a top-rated Oaxaca restaurant for our Grand Finale Dinner. Meals included: breakfast and gala dinner.

Day 7 – Friday, January 17.  Depart to home.  We will help you arrange transportation at your own expense to the Oaxaca airport, or extend your stay independently, or add-on a one- to three-day natural dye workshop (lodging not included). Meals included: breakfast.

What’s Included:

  • 6 nights lodging at a comfortable hotel in the heart of one of Oaxaca’s most artistic neighborhoods
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 1 Gala Grand Finale Dinner with complimentary Margarita
  • Luxury transportation to artisan villages
  • Cocina de Humo cooking class
  • Printmaking workshop
  • Mezcal tasting
  • Demonstrations and market visits
  • An immersion experience beyond your dreams!

Tour Cost:

$2,790, Single—one-traveler in room with one bed and private bath

$2,190, Double—two travelers in room with either two beds or one Queen or King bed, private bath

Add 10% for a ground floor room and eliminate the stairs

Discounts: Oaxaca snowbirds and residents with your own lodging, take $500 off tour cost!

Reservations and Cancellations.  Two easy steps.

  1. Complete this REGISTRATION FORM and email to Norma Schafer
  2. Send a $500 non-refundable deposit (first payment) to guarantee your place.

The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 50% of the balance is due on or before September 1, 2024. The third payment, 50% balance, is due on or before November 15, 2024. We accept payment using Zelle cash transfer or a credit card with Square. For a Zelle transfer, there is no service fee.  We add a 4% service fee to use Square. We will send you a request for funds to make your reservation deposit when you tell us you are ready to register. Please tell us how your account is registered (email or phone number).

After November 15, 2024, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before November 15, 2024, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date (less the $500 non-refundable deposit). After that, there are no refunds UNLESS we cancel for any reason. If we cancel, you will receive a full 100% refund.

Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health insurance that includes $50,000+ of emergency medical evacuation insurance. Check out Forbes Magazine for best travel insurance options. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/travel-insurance/best-travel-insurance/

Proof of insurance must be received at least 45 days before the tour start date.

Add  from 1 to 3 days of a natural dye workshop either before or after the tour for a deeper dive into textile arts. Work with indigo, cochineal, wild marigold, tree bark and other plant dyes. Create your own sampler and record formulas to carry home with you.

Deep Into the Mixteca Alta: Oaxaca Textile + Folk Art Study Tour 2025

5 nights, 6 days, March 12-17, 2025 — Starting and ending in Oaxaca City

We go deep into the Mixteca Alta, a mountainous region of the Sierra Madre del Sur in the north of Oaxaca state that is situated between the capital city and the Oaxaca coast. This area is home to Mixtec-speaking and Triqui speaking peoples. Here, we will explore these pueblos located about six hours northwest of the city. We will meet the makers of amazing handcrafts including textiles, ceramics, and palm weaving. This destination is far off-the-beaten-path where tourists don’t usually travel. Nestled in the folds of the mountain range are villages that are still making utilitarian and beautiful objects just as they have for centuries.

Wintering in Oaxaca? Wrap up your stay with this adventure into the Mixteca Alta!

We are going to an important Oaxaca source for basket weaving, back-strap loom weaving, silk cultivation, and pottery. We invite you to round out your knowledge of Oaxaca beyond the central valleys of the Zapotec capital to learn more about two of the 16 diverse indigenous groups that inhabit the state: Mixteco and Triqui.

Our road into the mountains will be winding and there are distances to travel. Some days, we may be in the van for several hours. We will walk towns and markets, traverse some hilly areas by foot, and ask that you be travel-ready with stamina for a road trip and an unparalleled adventure.

The Preliminary Daily Schedule

Day 1, Wednesday, March 12: Arrive in Oaxaca city, lodging in the city for one night. Overnight: Oaxaca City.  Meals included: none.

Day 2, Thursday, March 13: Today, we get on the road to visit Santo Domingo Yanhuitlan and learn about its history. This imposing structure was built by Indigenous slave labor just 20 years after the conquest in the 16th Century by the Dominican order atop an important Mixtec temple site – trading center, religious and cultural hub for the region to establish control. Then we make a stop to visit an innovative potter nearby who participates in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

Next, we meet a local Tonaltepec guide Tomasa Bautista who is an expert in the region’s geology. She explains the research importance of the Mixteca Alta Geopark, considered to be the most geologically complex region of Mexico, to conserve and protect the environment. This community project is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark system and showcases the biodiversity and amazing landscape formed by erosion and layers of million-year-old rocks caused by the interaction between nature and society. We lunch with a local family who shows us the pottery the town is famous for.

Here, amid this beautiful landscape we find a workshop of traditional potters in the town of Tonaltepec that use natural fermentation inks from barks of the local trees to create a special decoration on the pottery pieces made here. Lunch with the family. Overnight in Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 3, Friday, March 14: Come with us to San Pablo Tijaltepec to meet a collective of embroiderers who we met at the national expoventa ORIGINAL. They specialize in the technique of smocking — pepenado — that produces whimsical figures depicting wildlife and barnyard animals on the bodice design. After lunch with this group, we travel on to San Mateo Peñasco, where we will learn about the silk production. The town traditionally supplies cultivated silk to the coastal weavers of the Mixteca Baja. Silk, a protein-based fiber, absorbs cochineal, caracol purpura and indigo like none other! Overnight in Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 4: Saturday, March 15: This is market day in Tlaxiaco and we will get there early, right after breakfast. This is the largest market of the region, where artisans come to sell palm weavings, textiles, leather work and ceramics. After wandering the market and lunch, we travel to the Triqui village of San Andres Chicahuaxtla, where we will meet a cooperative of weavers who specialize in supplementary weft and very fine gauze weaving techniques on a back strap loom. On our way back to Tlaxiaco, we stop in Santa Maria Cuquila to meet a cooperative of Mixtec weavers who specialize in creating traditional huipiles on back strap looms. Overnight: Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

Day 5, Sunday, March 16: After breakfast, we briefly visit the Tlaxiaco town market, make a stop in Nochixtlan for lunch, then return to Oaxaca city where you will have the afternoon on your own. Gather in the evening for a Gala Grand Finale Dinner at one of the city’s most outstanding restaurants. Overnight: Oaxaca City. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6. Monday, March 17: Return to your home countries or extend your trip in Oaxaca on your own. Travel Day. Meals included: None

Note: Schedule is preliminary and is subject to change throughout our tour, depending on artisan availability, etc.

For more detailed reading about the experience, please read:

What Is Included

  • 5 nights lodging
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • Grand Finale Gala Dinner in Oaxaca City
  • Museum and park entry fees
  • Luxury van transportation
  • Complete guide and translation services

The tour does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation as specified in the itinerary. We reserve the right to substitute artisans, guides, and alter the program as needed.

Cost • $2,395 double room with private bath (sleeps 2) • $2,995 single room with private bath (sleeps 1)

How to Register:  First, complete the Registration Form and send it to us and tell us which payment method you want to use to make your deposit: Zelle (no fee) or credit card (4% fee). See below.

To Register, Policies, Procedures & Cancellations–Please Read

Reservations and Cancellations.  A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 50% of the balance is due on or before September 15, 2024. The third 50% payment of the balance is due on or before December 1, 2025. We accept payment using a Zelle transfer (no fees) or a credit card (4% service fee). When you complete the registration form and send it to us, we will send you a request for deposit. After December 1, 2024, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before December 1, 2024 we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date less the $500 non-refundable reservation deposit. After that, there are no refunds.

If we cancel for whatever reason, we will offer a 100% refund of all amounts received to date, less the non-refundable deposit.

All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.

NOTE:  If you have walking impediments or you rely on other travelers for personal assistance, then this is not the trip for you. Oaxaca city is close to 6,000 feet altitude. We travel to villages that are 7,500 feet altitude. For altitude or motion sickness, please consult your doctor and come prepared with adequate medications. All travelers must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and bring two antigen testing kits to test along the way.

How to Register:  First, complete the Registration Form and send it to us. We will then send you a request to make your reservation deposit.

To Register, Policies, Procedures & Cancellations–Please Read

Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy: The Mixteca Alta is 7,500 feet high. To get there, one must ascend secondary roads that are paved yet winding. We will do some walking in the villages. If you have motion sickness, please bring medication and ginger chews. We rotate seating on the van to give everyone a chance to sit up front! We recommend you bring a walking stick and wear sturdy shoes.

Traveling with a small group has its advantages, and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include plenty of free time to go off on your own if you wish.

Textiles, Pottery, Paper, Masks and More on Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacan

In addition to the monarch butterflies, what draws us to Michoacan is its extraordinary artisan traditions. Rich in cultural diversity, the Purepecha villages cling to their language and pre-Hispanic customs.

Many of the craft and artisan wares were developed and promoted by Bishop Vasco de Quiroga who introduced traditional artisanry, many based on Spanish prototypes, to the villages surrounding the lake. He trained locals to become master craftsmen and is honored and revered throughout the region.

We may offer this tour in 2026. Please send an email to get on our interested list.

This year, on Wednesday February 7, our group of fourteen travelers went to Santa Clara del Cobre where masters create hammered and forged copper pots, pans, mirrors, jewelry, utensils, and more. The following day, on February 8, we visited award-winning mask carvers in Tucuaro, Nicolas Fabian Fermin, the grand master of Mexican pottery who lives in Santa Fe de Laguna, and the embroidery cooperative in Tzintzuntzan started by Teofila Servin Barriga.

This full-day around the lake would not be complete without at market stop, a visit to Luis Manuel Morales Gámez, master pottery, and a home-cooked lunch with Mama Rosario, the wife of Nicolas Fabian Fermin.

These little fish, below left, are called charoles. They come from the fresh waters near Tzintzuntzan and are a Patzcuaro specialty. Lower right, blue corn memelas cooking on the comal.

Let us know if you want to go in 2026. Send us an email.

Left, Mama Rosario’s kitchen filled with clay cooking pots, and center photo is Mama Rosario.

Deep Into the Mixteca Alta: Oaxaca Textile + Folk Art Study Tour

5 nights, 6 days, March 7-12, 2024

We go deep into the Mixteca Alta, a mountainous region of the Sierra Madre del Sur in the north of Oaxaca state that is situated between the capital city and the Oaxaca coast. Home to Mixtec-speaking people and other language groups (among them Chatino, Zapotec, Triqui). This tour will explore the predominantly Mixtec pueblos situated a few hours northwest of the city, her history, landscape, and handcrafts including textiles, ceramic, and palm weaving. This will be our first offering of this destination which is far off-the-beaten-path where tourists don’t usually travel. Nestled in the folds of the mountain range are villages that are still making utilitarian and beautiful objects just as they have for centuries.

Wintering in Oaxaca? Wrap up your stay with this adventure into the Mixteca Alta!

We are going to an important Oaxaca source for basket weaving, back-strap loom weaving, silk cultivation, and pottery. We invite you to round out your knowledge of Oaxaca beyond the central valleys of the Zapotec capital to learn more about some of the 16 diverse indigenous groups that inhabit the state.

Our road into the mountains will be winding and there are distances to travel. Some days, we may be in the van for an hour or two at a time. While we won’t do a lot of walking or hiking on this route, we ask that you be travel-ready with stamina for a road trip and an unparalleled adventure.

Day 1, Thursday, March 7: Arrive in Oaxaca city, lodging in the city one night. Overnight: Oaxaca City.  Meals included: none

Day 2, Friday, March 8: Today, we get on the road first to visit Santo Domingo Yanhuitlan convent and learn about its history. This imposing structure was built just 20 years after the conquest in the 16th Century by the Dominican order atop an important Mixtec temple site – a trading center, religious and cultural hub for the region.

Then, we explore Geopark Mixteca Alta, which is considered to be the most geologically complex region of Mexico. This community project is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark system and showcases the biodiversity and amazing landscape formed by erosion and layers of million-year-old rocks caused by the interaction between nature and society.

Here, amid this beautiful landscape we find a workshop of traditional potters in the town of Tonaltepec that use natural fermentation inks from barks of the local trees to create a special decoration on the pottery pieces made here. Lunch with the family.

Overnight in Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

How to Register:  First, complete the Registration Form and send it to us and tell us which payment method you want to us to make your deposit.

To Register, Policies, Procedures & Cancellations–Please Read

Day 3, Saturday, March 9: This is market day in Tlaxiaco and we will get there early, right after breakfast. This is the largest market of the region, where artisans come to sell palm weavings, textiles, leather work and ceramics. After wandering the market and lunch, we travel to San Andres Chicahuaxtla, where we will meet a cooperative of Triqui pueblo weavers who specialize in supplementary weft and very fine gauze weaving techniques on a back strap loom. On our way back to Tlaxiaco, we will stop in Santa Maria Cuquila to meet a cooperative of weavers who specialize in creating traditional huipiles with back strap looms.

Overnight: Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4, Sunday, March 10: A place I’ve always wanted to go! Come with us to El Porvenir, San Pablo Tijaltepec to meet a collective of embroiderers. They specialize in the technique of smocking that produces whimsical figures depicting wildlife and barnyard animals on the bodice design. After lunch with this group, we travel on to San Mateo Peñasco, where we will learn about the silk production. The town traditionally supplies cultivated silk to the coastal weavers of the Mixteca Baja. Silk, a protein-based fiber, absorbs cochineal, caracol purpura and indigo like none other!

Overnight in Tlaxiaco. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 5, Monday, March 11:

After a leisurely breakfast, we return to Oaxaca city where you will have the afternoon on your own, but along the way we stop in Nochixtlan for lunch and market day. Gather in the evening for a Gala Grand Finale Dinner at a highly-rated city restaurant.

Overnight: Oaxaca City. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6. Tuesday, March 12: Return to your home countries or extend your trip in Oaxaca on your own.

Travel Day. Meals included: None

Note: Schedule is preliminary and is subject to change throughout our tour, depending on artisan availability, etc.

What Is Included

  • 5 nights lodging at top-rated hotels
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • Grand Finale Gala Dinner in Oaxaca City
  • Museum and park entry fees
  • Luxury van transportation
  • Complete guide and translation services

The tour does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation as specified in the itinerary. We reserve the right to substitute artisans, guides, and alter the program as needed.

Cost • $2,395 double room with private bath (sleeps 2) • $2,995 single room with private bath (sleeps 1)

Reservations and Cancellations.  A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 50% of the balance is due on or before October 15, 2023. The third 50% payment of the balance is due on or before January 7, 2024. We accept payment using online e-commerce only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. After January 7, 2024, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before January 7, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date less the $500 non-refundable reservation deposit. After that, there are no refunds.

If we cancel for whatever reason, we will offer a 100% refund of all amounts received to date, less the non-refundable deposit.

All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.

NOTE: All travelers must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and bring 6 antigen testing kits to travel with and test along the way. You must also wear CDC-approved face masks, use hand-sanitizer, and maintain all public health precautions as requested.

How to Register:  First, complete the Registration Form and send it to us. We will then send you an invoice to make your reservation deposit.

To Register, Policies, Procedures & Cancellations–Please Read

Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy: The Mixteca Alta is almost 7,000 feet high. To get there, one must ascend secondary roads that are paved yet winding. We will do some walking in the villages and in the Geopark. If you have motion sickness, please bring medication and ginger chews. We rotate seating on the van to give everyone a chance to sit up front! We recommend you bring a walking stick and wear sturdy shoes.

NOTE: If you have mobility issues or health/breathing impediments, please consider that this may not be the program for you.

Traveling with a small group has its advantages, and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include plenty of free time to go off on your own if you wish.

Mexico Folk Art Whimsies Sale

I might be able to get these to you by Christmas if you order by tomorrow—though no guarantees! Depending on the USPS. This a mix of pottery, alebrijes, exvotos, holiday attire, and more — most never before offered.

How to Buy: Send an email to norma.schafer@icloud.comand tell me the item(s) you want to purchase by number, your email, your mailing address, your phone number, and which payment method you prefer: 1) Zelle bank transfer with no service fee; 2) Venmo or 3) PayPal each with a 3% service fee. I will send you a request for funds and then add on a mailing fee depending on the size box needed. Happy to combine shipping if you buy more than one piece. These are one-of-a-kind. Note: Thank you for understanding that all sales are final. Please measure carefully.

#1. Hand-painted pottery candlesticks from Amantenango, Chiapas. Quack Quack, add elegant whimsy to your holiday table setting. (Candles and drip protectors not included.) 9″ high x 7″ long. $185.

#2. Carved wood and painted alebrije from San Martin Tilcajete: Pregnant donkey piano player! 10″ high x 3-1/2″ wide. Signed Miguel Diaz. $125.

#3. Huichol string art wall-hanging. 6″ square. $60.

SOLD. #4. Howling Dog alebrije. Carved and painted copal wood from Candido Perez, San Martin Tilcajete. 12″ high x 12″ long to tip of tail. Tail has been repaired, but not noticeable. $72.

#5. Casildo Rodriguez is grateful he escaped his fate in Oaxaca by making an offering of this retablo or ex-voto. His donkey turned into a monster! Hand-painted ex-voto on metal, reproduction, by contemporary Mexico City artist Rafael Rodriguez. 12″ wide x 9-1/2″ high. $125.

#6. Frida Kahlo Catrina hand-painted pottery sculpture. Perfect for next Day of the Dead or whenever! 8-1/2″ high x 3″ wide at the base. $85.

SOLD. #7. Tzintzuntzan, Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan, intricate embroidery shirt telling the story of daily life of farmers and fishermen around the lake. By famed textile artisan Teofila Servin Barriga. Measures 22″ wide x 26″ long. Sleeves are 24-1/2″ long from the shoulder seam. Price reduced from $275 to $185.

#8. Hand-painted enamel gourd from Oaxaca, perfect for holiday serving — fruit, bread, chocolate, candy, crackers — you name it. Add pizzaz to your table! $56

#9. Embroidered in Zinacantan, Chiapas, a bodice filled with flowers. Tuck it in to a skirt, jeans, slacks for bling dressing this season. 23″ wide x 29″ long. $65.

#10. Hand-woven palm basket from Oaxaca’s Mixtec region. So many possible uses: hold towel, bath tissue, winter scarves, hats and gloves, magazines, laundry, etc. 14″ high x 12″ wide. $62.

#11. Rare Vintage Ex-voto from the 1930’s. Hand-painted on tin. A true folk art find that I’m willing to part with from my collection. 11″ wide x 6-1/2″ high. $295.

SOLD. #12. Hand-carved and painted mask from Tocuaro, Michoacan. The best of Mexico’s mask-makers live here! Signed Felipe Horta. Masks were used in pre-Hispanic times for religious ceremonies and the traditions continue today. Measures 12″ high x 12″ wide. $145.

#13. Rare Vintage Ex-voto from Cholula, Puebla, “Thanksgiving” or Accion de Gracias. Circa 1930’s. 11″ wide x 8″ high. $295.

A word about Ex-Votos: Mexico’s ex-votos (also called retablos) are naive folk art that tell a story of thanksgiving and prayers for being saved from near-death or disaster. Usually the person who escaped tragedy would hire a local primitive artist to pain a tin square depicting the scene. The message of thanks may have included many misspellings, as the painters were not educated. They often include depictions of the saint to whom they are giving thanks. Original ex-votos were taken to a nearby shrine where the person, with hammer and nail, would affix the small painting to a tree, post, or altar. Hence, vintage ex-votos usually have a crude hole in the top center of the plaque.

#14. Francisca Blouse, Purple Haze. 100% cotton and made by hand in Aguacatenango, Chiapas, by our friend Francisca. The bodice is covered in intricate French knots. All by hand–no machine work here! Size Large. Measures 17″ wide from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, and 28″ long. Sleeves are 3/4 length. $125.