Mexico is synonymous with crafts for its 68 ethnic groups that group more than 11 million indigenous peoples, peoples who have developed a beautiful and well-defined craft work to which they imprint their cultural stamps.
Let’s get to know in this article a selection of 30 fantastic Mexican handicrafts that we are sure will surprise you.
1. Talavera from Puebla
Let’s start with ceramics and talavera from Puebla.
The art of majolica ceramics came to Mexico from Spain. The first artificers settled in the Puebla area in the 16th century, starting a tradition now famous thanks to the quality of the local clays and the talent of the artisans.
To distinguish it from the Spanish talavera, it was called talavera poblana, denomination of origin that identifies products made by traditional methods from 5 centuries ago.
Talavera from Puebla is characterized by its white vitreous finish and by the use of only 6 colors: blue, black, yellow, green, orange and pale violet (mauve), all derived from natural pigments.
Each piece is turned and painted by hand (the paint feels to the touch). The glaze contains lead and tin, according to the practice applied since the colonial era.
The localities that produce authentic talavera from Puebla are Puebla de Zaragoza, Cholula, Atlixco and Tecali de Herrera.
The Talavera Alarca Museum, which exhibits the most emblematic works of this technique, is located at Lateral Sur Recta a Cholula, 3510, Puebla.
2. Huichol yarn paintings
The Huicholes or Wixárikas indigenous people have collected peyote since time immemorial and it is believed that the consumption of this hallucinogenic cactus has to do with the origin of their artistic expressions, among which yarn paintings stand out.
The Huicholes took refuge in the Sierra Madre Occidental, especially in Nayarit, as well as in mountain areas of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Durango, after the arrival of the Spanish. There they continue to make their paintings or yarn boards, in which they weave multicolored threads on a base of wax and resin, to communicate artistically with the gods and to present daily pictures of their lives.
Huichol artists paint with threads that were initially the stamens obtained directly from the woolen fleeces of sheep. Now they use commercial threads. Depending on the complexity of the design, creating a table could take weeks.
Another facet developed by Huichol art is the work with beads and not with threads, taking advantage of the diversity and color of the commercial pieces. With this method, eye-catching designs such as animal heads and masks are made.
3. Tamaulipas skins
Among the Mexican handicrafts from the state of Tamaulipas, the most emblematic is the cuera, a jacket originally from Ciudad Tula. It is made with calfskin or deer suede and as decorations it has white engravings and long fringes on the back, front, sleeves and edge.
The cuera comes from a cotton jacket used by cowboys as protection against branches and thorns.
In the early 1960s it was adopted as the regional costume of Tamaulipas. The female garment consists of a jacket and skirt.
The leathers are handmade and their elaboration demands several days. The leather is tanned and treated so that it adopts its typical beige color and the decorations, generally white, are glued or sewn to the piece.
In 2010, the Cuerudo Tamaulipeco was inaugurated in Ciudad Victoria, a monumental bronze sculpture in which its artist, Elizabeth Pesquera Caballero, portrayed a leather-clad rider on a horse with its forequarters raised.
The song, El Cuerudo Tamaulipeco, by the professor, Francisco Flores, is a kind of regional anthem of Tamaulipas.
4. Black pottery from Oaxaca
The most distinctive pottery in Oaxaca is that of black clay and although the Zapotecs and Mixtecs already worked matt gray pottery during pre-Hispanic times, the current black pottery is due to a discovery in the mid-20th century by Doña Rosa Real Mateo de Nieto.
Doña Rosa discovered that if the pottery was fired on a lower fire and polished with a quartz stone before completely drying, it would acquire the metallic sheen and hue that characterizes Oaxacan black pottery.
The capital of black clay in Oaxaca is the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec, 14 km from Oaxaca de Juárez. Most of the ceramic workshops work in this town, including that of Doña Rosa, now managed by her descendants.
Black clay objects are made more slowly and their fragility has led them to be considered basically decorative pieces. The handicrafts can be purchased directly in the workshops or in the local craft market.
In San Bartolo Coyotepec there is the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca, which dedicates one of its rooms to black clay.
5. Tree of Life
The tree of life is a concept present in many mythologies and philosophies of life, but in Mexico it adopted a particular conception in the form of a beautiful, laborious and colorful clay sculpture.
During the colony they were inspired by biblical themes and were instruments to inculcate Christianity in the native population, but today trees of life are made dictated by other themes.
It is one of the main crafts in Mexico whose elaboration originated in the town of Izúcar de Matamoros. It is currently more associated with the Mexiquense municipality of Metepec, being one of the reasons why this town was declared a Magical Town.
The trees of life were made for religious purposes until the middle of the 20th century. A great piece could take months or years to complete, but the beginning of its elaboration as an object of adornment took the craft out of its strictly biblical realm.
In the current Metepec handicrafts market there is a fantastic collection of trees of life, which shows the artistic and patient work of the families of Metepequenses.
Although the rebozo was already used by indigenous peoples during pre-Columbian times, its use became popular as a complement to women’s clothing to enter Catholic temples.
The shawl, a word that dates back to 1562, is a square piece made mainly of cotton, silk, wool and artisela (synthetic silk), which can measure up to 3 meters in length.
The garment is used in Mexico, Central and South America, being a symbol of the Mexican identity immortalized in some paintings by Frida Kahlo.
The main Mexican states for making shawls are San Luis Potosí, Mexico, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Querétaro.
The most famous are those made in the Potosi town of Santa María del Río, birthplace of the bolita rebozo where they are made by skilled Otomi and guachichile weavers.
The making of a high quality rebozo can take up to 2 months and previously they were colored with natural pigments. Indigo for blue, cochineal for carmine and old iron for black.
The rebozo can be a female garment in the form of a shawl or a scarf, but also a clothesline, purse, handkerchief, shroud or an ergonomic instrument for carrying babies.
The sarape represents for Mexican men the same as the rebozo for women. It is a garment similar to the Andean poncho to protect from cold and rain, but it can also be an improvised rug or rug.
Although it is of great tradition in several Mexican regions, it arose in Saltillo and is more common in the north. Western buffs will surely remember the serape Clint Eastwood wore in the movie, A Fistful of Dollars.
The serapes are made with thick threads and before the arrival of industrial dyes, they were colored with natural pigments made by hand.
The main materials used are cotton and wool. The loom that arrived with the Spanish helped increase production and more easily insert strips of different colors.
The Sarape and Mexican Costume Museum, at Allende Sur 160, Saltillo, operates in an 18th-century building and has a room dedicated especially to the garment of Saltillo origin and its history.
The museum also displays a beautiful collection of Mexican costumes that is a retrospective on the evolution of dress in Mexico.
The silver mines of Mexico inflated the coffers of the Spanish royal house and built immense personal fortunes, such as that of Pedro Romero de Terreros, Count of Regla, one of the richest men in the world in the 18th century, during the viceregal era.
They also left the apprenticeship of the silversmith trade, a tradition in the artisanal work of silver that was maintained after the mines were exhausted.
The silver objects of the Pueblo Mágico of Guerrero de Taxco have national and world fame, among the crafts of the Mexican Republic.
The silver market every Saturday fills the streets of the historic center with vendors offering rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, chains, anklets and other silver pieces, at “popular jewelry” prices.
During the last week of November, the National Silver Fair is held in Taxco, in which Taxco and Mexican silversmiths compete with their pieces, to find out which ones receive the best recognition in design and execution.
In no Yucatecan house is a hammock missing, a Caribbean invention of unspecified origin that is believed to have arrived in Yucatan 200 years before the Discovery.
Currently they are made of artificial materials such as polypropylene, but initially they only consisted of natural fibers such as henequen and cotton.
The Henequen Era of Yucatan is normally associated with the large haciendas that cultivated the henequen plant and extracted the natural fiber for the manufacture of ropes to tie ships, sacks and other things to work hard.
Henequen was also and still is the base of the Yucatecan hammock, an item to rest on.
Yucatecan artisans from Tixcocob, Chumayel, Teabo and other communities have an amazing skill in handling the frame and the two needles that are required to make a unicolor, multicolor, children’s, family, individual or personalized hammock.
Depending on the size and complexity of the design, it takes 1-2 weeks to make a good and beautiful hammock.
Amber is a fossilized resin from the remains of conifers considered a semi-precious stone. It is rather a rarity and due to its characteristics it is classified with different names depending on its origin, the best known being Dominican amber, Mexican amber, Baltic amber and Spanish amber.
Although there are yellow, white, greenish varieties and many other shades, it is predominantly light brown.
The main source of amber in Mexico is Chiapas and the national amber capital is arguably San Cristóbal de las Casas.
Chiapas amber was formed from forests of the Tertiary era 30 million years ago and is the hardest in the world, a quality that, together with its wide variety of colors, has given it international prestige for carving.
Chiapas carving is manual, which increases its artistic value.
The Chiapas Amber Museum is housed in the former Convent of La Merced in Ciudad Real, a historic 16th-century building in San Cristóbal de las Casas, which was the first establishment of the Mercedarian order in the New World. It exhibits some 350 pieces, both raw and carved.
11. Campeche hippie palm fabrics
Many people believe that the famous Panama hat is so named because it originated in the canal republic. The truth is that it is an Ecuadorian jipi palm hat (which is why they are also called jipijapa) that adopted its current name due to the thousands imported from Ecuador during the construction of the canal. One of these hats went to US President Teddy Roosevelt.
Its function was and still is to protect workers from the hot tropical sun.
The hipi palm is also skilfully worked in Campeche, specifically in the towns of Becal, San Nicolás, Santa Cruz and Tankuché. Campeche artisans from these towns make Panama hats and other garments with the hippie palm.
The work is not easy. The leaves must be carefully selected and the making requires great manual dexterity. The most curious thing is that a good part of the creative process is carried out in caves, since in these natural spaces the humidity and temperature conditions facilitate the manipulation of the fibers.
12. Charro hats
They have been popularized as souvenirs by the mariachis who wear the typical Mexican charro hat on their costume. Their origin is Spanish, particularly from Andalusia, where they were used by wealthy landowners.
Charro hats are a popular piece on Mexican haciendas for protection from the sun, wind and dust, although due to their wide brim they have many other benefits such as an instrument to stir up and put out a campfire, stun a snake or cushion a hit in a fall.
They have also been used as a cape against a brave bull, as a shield against an attack and as a barrier to hide the face in a forbidden love affair.
Hats can be made from wool felt, hare skin and other animal skins, which despite being more durable are also heavier. Those made with wheat and palm straw are fresher and lighter.
The authentic charro hat has a wide brim raised at the back and the crown has 4 concavities called “pedradas”, which provide aesthetics and resistance. It is common to decorate them with toquillas and trims.
13. Little boxes of Olinalá
These boxes are a tradition that has pre-Hispanic contributions and that had a great boost in the 17th century, when the artisans of Olinalá learned the art of furniture making and made trunks, chests and boxes of great artisan value, especially for their paintings with lacquers. and the beauty and elegance of its hinges, fittings, plates and strips.
The elaboration of a box is a laborious process that has about 30 steps, including the making of engravings, paintings and the application of lacquers. Each box is a unique and unrepeatable work.
The base of the lacquers is chia oil that acts as a binder mixed with 3 minerals, which are a dolomite called toltec, an iron oxide known as tecoxtle and a calcite called texicaltecriollo.
The wood used is that of the lináloe tree, also used to make other decorative objects and for practical uses such as trays, fruit bowls, bread boxes, trunks and jewelry boxes.
Each artisan has evolved with their techniques in the elaboration of the Olinalá boxes, the maximum artisan heritage of Guerrero.
14. Copper pieces from Santa Clara del Cobre
Santa Clara del Cobre is a Michoacan Magical Town in the municipality of Salvador Escalante, which learned the work of hammering metals in pre-Hispanic times, although the great promoter of copper activity was Bishop Vasco de Quiroga, in the 16th century.
From the main square you can feel the overwhelming presence of reddish metal in Santa Clara del Cobre, with the huge copper pot in the center of the kiosk and with the sheets of the material that form the roof and create a beautiful effect when struck by the rays. solar.
The ancient Purépecha artisans hammered copper with stones and although other tools are now used, the atmosphere felt in the workshops has changed little.
At the National Copper Fair held in mid-August, ornamental and household pieces are exhibited.
In the National Copper Museum, on Avenida Morelos with Pino Suárez, there is a sample of representative objects made with traditional techniques.
15. Bells of Tlahuelompa
One of the most unique Mexican crafts are the bells made in this town in the Sierra Hidalgo, items that apart from decorating can also be used.
This small mountain community is known as the Valley of the Bells for the sound instruments they make in tin, bronze and copper, from clay molds. They also produce saucepans and other household items.
The metal is melted and poured into a clay mold. The next day, the demoulding is done, with which a “raw” bell is obtained, which after being cleaned, burnished and polished, is finished.
It. s beautiful tones are achieved by changing the amount of each metal in the mixture to be melted; a more silvery color indicates the presence of more bronze and a more golden or reddish hue indicates a greater amount of copper.
In Tlahuelompa, large bells are made to be rung in churches and elsewhere, as well as small versions for decorative purposes.
Other interesting craft traditions in Tlahuelompa are the making of religious images and the making of fruit wines.
16. Green pottery from Santa María Atzompa
To the tradition of the black clay of San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca joins that of the green clay of Santa María Atzompa, a municipality in the central valleys whose word Atzompa means in Nahua: “at the top of the water”.
Local pottery is distinguished by its green glaze and is less porous and easier to clean.
This is the most important pottery product of Santa María Atzompa, but not the only one, since they also make pieces with amber enamel and other colors, as well as objects without enamel.
The designs are made with the techniques of pastillage and fretwork. Among the variety of items are crockery, vases, pitchers, jugs, pots, chirmoleras, toys and other decorative objects.
The piece receives a greta bath after being molded and fired, a mixture of lead oxide and silica that gives it the green glazed appearance that characterizes ceramics.
Santa María Atzompa is a picturesque town of almost 6,000 inhabitants 8 km west of the city of Oaxaca and its other attractions are its rustic church with two towers and the square with its kiosk.
17. Yucatan Guayaberas
Several versions are known about the origin of the guayabera. One points out that it comes from Cuba where a tailor from Sancti Spíritus designed it for men to carry enough cigars. According to this version, the peasants who lived in the Yayabo river basin, near Sancti Spíritus, began to call it yayabera and from there the name migrated to guayabera because of its usefulness for carrying guavas.
In another story it is stated that the guayabera came from the Yucatan peninsula and from there it went to the Caribbean islands and the Philippines.
In any case, what distinguishes this practical men’s shirt is its use outside the trousers, its pleating (folded vertical lines) and its 4 large pockets, 2 on the chest and 2 on the skirts. They are made with long sleeves and short sleeves.
It is a traditional garment in Yucatan for its lightness and comfort, which makes it great for tropical climates.
18. Paracho Guitars
Life in Paracho de Verduzco revolves around the making of wooden musical instruments, especially guitars, of which about 20,000 are produced by hand every month, in a tradition that spans more than 5 centuries.
Other wooden musical instruments manufactured by local luthiers are guitarrones, mandolins, violins, cellos, lutes, double basses, trichords, charangos and requintos.
In Paracho, guitars are made from different national and imported woods, such as cedar, rosewood, fir and cypress. They also make miniatures that involve laborious artistic work and other wooden items such as toys, bookcases, dining rooms, kitchen utensils and furniture in general.
During the first fortnight of August, the International Guitar Fair is held, which includes a guitar festival, a builders contest, a crafts market and a gastronomic fair.
Most of Paracho’s guitar production is exported to Asia, Europe and North America.
19. Huipiles from Yucatan
Spanish Christian evangelizers found the women bare-chested on their arrival in Yucatan in the 16th century. As this was not well seen, they forced the indigenous women to wear a rough linen nightgown with two holes for the arms and one for the neck, which was called güipil.
This is how the Yucatecan huipil was born, currently the typical regional costume made up of 3 pieces, also called the Yucatecan suit.
The 3 pieces are the doublet, which looks like a square neckline and has embroidered cross-stitch decorations; the huipil or hipil, a light dress with embroidery on the lower part that reaches the knees; and the fustán, a piece longer than the hipil that is tied around the waist.
The outfit is completed with a bun hairstyle secured with a comb and adorned with real flowers, gold and coral filigree earrings and rosaries.
The huipil is also used in other Mexican regions such as Querétaro, Puebla and the Huasteca. It is a colorful, fresh and very comfortable dress. Traditionally it is white with colored decorations.
Huaraches are a Mexican clothing that emerged from the syncretism between pre-Columbian cultures and the European contributed by the conquerors.
These are popular sandals that the pre-Hispanic indigenous people made with natural fibers, until the Spaniards arrived with cattle and began to make them with strips of leather as they are made today.
The huarache is a shoe used mainly by rural populations in states such as Michoacán, Jalisco, Yucatán and Colima. It is also the sandal used by the religious of some orders such as the Franciscans. The word “huarache” comes from the Purépecha word “kwarachi”.
Other advantages of huaraches are their economy as footwear, because they can be repaired several times. They gave rise to a very Mexican word: the huarachería, which is a saddlery made of huaraches.
The sole material has also evolved from mecate and cowhide, to rubber and other synthetic materials.
They have their equivalent in Mexican gastronomy with the huarache, a corn dough cake similar to the sole of a sandal, which is filled with beans, meat and vegetables and dressed with cheese and sauce.
21. Mexican masks
The art of the Mexican mask has pre-Hispanic origins when they began to be used in traditional ceremonies, rites and dances. It transcended culturally until contemporary times due to the masks used in wrestling, one of the most popular sports in the country.
The main materials used in the elaboration of the masks are wood, clay, leather, cardboard, fabric and papier-mâché.
The most used images throughout history for the elaboration of the masks have been of Europeans (especially Spanish and French, due to their links with the history of Mexico), landowners, animals and a large number of designs arising from the imagination. of the artisans, among which those associated with fantastic and demonic beings stand out.
The masks are part of the attire used by the dancers in different typical Mexican choreographies, such as the Parachicos of the Fiesta Grande de Chiapa de Corzo, the Danza del Caballito Blanco de Nacajuca (Tabasco), the Chinelos de Morelos and the Fariseos de Sonora.
The collection of more than 1,300 pieces of the National Mask Museum, in the city of San Luis Potosí, is the largest in the country.
22. Rarámuri basketry
The Rarámuris or Tarahumaras live in the abysmal spaces of the Copper Canyon and the Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua, where they developed a particular religious syncretism and a culture with peculiar features, such as the game of ball racing.
Among the Rarámuri handicrafts, basketry stands out, acquired by travelers who cross the Copper Canyon aboard the El Chepe train.
The baskets are made with palmilla and sotol fibers, a plant similar to maguey that grows in the Baja Tarahumara at 600 meters above sea level. They also work with pine leaves that grow in the Alta Tarahumara at between 1,800 and 2,800 meters above sea level.
The work begins by preparing the sotol and palmilla fibers and cutting the leaves into strips of different widths. A circular or square base is made and then the piece is finished by twill weaving, in different variants. The fabric can be single or double.
23. Mazahua embroidery
The Mazahua is the most numerous in the states of Mexico and Michoacán among indigenous peoples and lives in rural areas of the mountains and valleys of Mexico and Michoacán.
Its main craft product is wool embroidery and cross stitch, with motifs featuring plants, animals and fretwork. They also make blankets, bedspreads, quexquemiles, sashes, vests, backpacks, shawls, covers and other garments with great mastery.
Apart from the cross stitch, they use lomillo, basting, two-needle, pepenado, crow’s foot, careado embroidery, among others. The embroideries are reflected mainly in wool, cotton, blanket and quadrille.
Each Mazahua community has its craft specialty. For example, the Mexican town of San Felipe Santiago (municipality of Villa de Allende) is practically the only one that works fine embroidery on blankets.
Although the traditional embroideries still exist (flowers, horses, deer and the Mazahua star), the artisans have embraced modernity and it is common to find designs with logos of soccer teams and cartoon characters.
24. Catrinas of Capula
La catrina is a skull figure created by the illustrator, caricaturist and hidrocálido engraver, José Guadalupe Posada. She was baptized with that name by his young friend, Diego Rivera.
During the second half of the 19th century, writings and pamphlets were popularized in Mexico that criticized and mocked the characters of the privileged classes, presenting them as bodies dressed in expensive clothes and with the faces of skulls. The word catrín became synonymous with the refined English dandy and catrina became the equivalent female character.
The Michoacán town of Capula adopted the artisan tradition of making striking catrinas, whose skeletal figures are made of clay and are dressed in different outfits, including huipiles, long dresses and wide-brimmed hats.
Visitors to the town are greeted by a monumental catrina who wears a period dress, a hat adorned with flowers and a shawl in the shape of a feathered serpent.
For the Day of the Dead, the Fair of the Catrina de Capula is celebrated, an occasion in which local artisans strive to present the most reliable skeletons and the most original clothing.
25. Piteado of Colotlan
Piteado is an artisan work that consists of embroidery with pita (thread obtained from maguey fiber) on a leather base, using decorative patterns.
The technique is applied in the manufacture of different leather articles such as saddles, straps, belts, footwear and headbands.
The typical embroideries are animals, flowers, motifs related to charrería and pre-Hispanic symbols and those of other cultures.
The piteado is associated with the charro and is also worked in other states, although not necessarily using the pita thread.
The Jalisco town of Colotlán is called the “world capital of piteado”. It is a beautiful art threatened by the competition of the industrial piteado made with commercial machines and threads, which produce pieces that, due to their resemblance, can be confused with authentically handmade confections.
Another factor that threatens the conservation of the piteado in Colotlán and practically in Mexico, is the lack of interest of young people in knowing a trade whose learning has been transmitted from generation to generation.
Two great enthusiasts of the piteado of Colotlán have been the singer Vicente Fernández and the former president, Luis Echeverría.
The Mexican art of the doll comes from pre-Hispanic Mexico and some continue to be made, such as the pames dolls, made in the Sierra Gorda with parts of the corn plant.
The dolls are one of the typical handicrafts of Mexico that are distinguished by their beauty, color and artistic innocence, such as those of tusa made with corn husks, mainly in the central and southern states of Mexico.
Pame dolls are the ones with the oldest artisan tradition and those that are made with palms and corn hair to simulate hair. They are typical of the Sierra Gorda in Querétaro and San Luis Potosí and archaeological remains of some have been found.
Las Marías are probably the most famous dolls in Mexico. They are beautifully and meticulously made by Mazahua artisans.
Tarahumara dolls are wooden carvings dressed in the colorful Rarámuri costumes and one of the most beautifully naive Mexican handicrafts.
The Huichols are plastic dolls spectacularly dressed in the typical Wixárika costumes and the Chiapas dolls, made with cotton-filled fabrics, are distinguished by their sewing details.
Lately, fridas, images of Frida Kahlo, have become popular.
27. Salamanca wax figures
The Guanajuato city of Salamanca has had a strong industrial expansion, without forgetting its artisan traditions, among which the work of wax, basketry and bronze figures stand out.
The craftsmen from Salamanca have gained fame for their creations in wax, a material with which they make delicate figures and decorate candles.
One of the handicrafts that most attracts the attention of tourists and visitors, are the births or nativity scenes made only with wax. This tradition began with the implantation of the Christian religion brought by the Spanish evangelizers.
During the Christmas season, a monumental nativity scene is set up in Salamanca and is visited and photographed by people from all over Mexico. The figures of this nativity that is exhibited in the House of Culture are made entirely of wax.
Scaled candles are covered with wax decorations, especially flowers, and are particularly appreciated by the public as offerings and religious gifts.
The flaking procedure consists of placing a wire frame covered with crepe paper on top of the candle, and then adding the wax decorations, mainly flowers and leaves.
28. Blown Glass
Almost all crafts are made by skilled hands and are often called handicrafts, but in blown glass, having good and trained lungs is a priority.
The Mexican capital of blown glass is the Jalisco town of Tonalá, a city that would also deserve the title of national artisan capital, for its high-temperature pottery and ceramics, papier-mache, wrought iron, and other specialties.
The elaboration of blown glass pieces is delicate because the craftsman must blow a small amount of vitreous paste (molten glass), through a cane or tube more than a meter long, to give the material the desired initial shape.
The piece is then modeled with other utensils and baked to reach the required consistency.
With this technique, the famous Murano glass and pieces such as vases, lamps, ashtrays, glasses, bottles, tableware and ornaments are made.
A simple piece like a tequila glass can be found in Tonalá for less than 30 MXN, while more elaborate items like a lantern can cost more than 5,000 MXN.
29. Scholastic Quarry
The first thing that draws attention in the community of Escolásticas, in the Querétaro municipality of Pedro Escobedo, is the soundscape produced by chisels, hammers, saws, grinders and other tools used in stone work, from which some of the the most elegant Mexican crafts.
The stretch of road closest to the town is home to several workshops where stonemasons carve pieces of all sizes, which can cost from 50 to half a million pesos.
From Escolásticas you can take anything from a small decorative fountain to a 2-ton fountain to preside over a splendid garden, as well as animal sculptures that include horses, tigers, lions, crocodiles, rhinoceroses, dolphins and bears.
The main source of stone is local quarries, although blocks are also brought from Jalisco, Yucatán and Hidalgo, especially to fulfill special orders. Most of the pieces are exported to the United States, Canada and Europe.
Many people who build or remodel a house visit Escolásticas to enhance the interiors and exteriors of their property, with the magnificent stonework of local stonemasons.
30. Sawdust rugs from Huamantla
It is the only one of the crafts on this list that you will not be able to take home, since its life is ephemeral.
These colorful sawdust rugs are made in the Tlaxcalan Magical Town of Huamantla.
Huamantla is a town 48 km from the city of Tlaxcala on the Apizaco road, which obtained the distinction of Magical Town for its religious and bullfighting traditions, its architectural heritage and its natural spaces.
The festivities in mid-August of the Virgen de la Caridad are the great annual event of Huamantla.
On the Night that Nobody Sleeps, on August 14, the Huamantlecos make precious rugs of sawdust, sand and flowers, on the streets through which the virgin will pass in procession, which leaves the temple at 1 in the morning of the 15 of August.
They are short-lived handcrafted beauties that exemplify the artistic talent and religious devotion of the Tlaxcalans.
The other unmissable show of the fair is the Huamantlada, a kind of Pamplona San Fermín in Tlaxcala with bulls running through the streets and spontaneous fights.
What are the crafts of Mexico?
Mexico is a world of varied and colorful handicrafts that have decorative and practical uses, made by its many indigenous peoples.
These communities have worked ancestrally with clay, stone, wood, natural fibers, textiles, metals and other materials to create the handicrafts of Mexico, among which are dolls, toys, ornaments, masks and pieces for daily use in the home, as well as clothing, footwear and typical attire.
What are local handicrafts?
Local handicrafts are objects produced manually or with the minimum use of machines, which culturally identify a certain locality and which are used as ornamental or practical elements.
In Mexico, for example, they are the little boxes from Olinalá, the black clay from San Bartolo Coyotepec, the green pottery from Santa María Atzompa, the catrinas from Capula and the guitars from Paracho.
What are the craft products?
Artisanal products by definition are those that are made by hand, distinguishing themselves from industrial products made by machines and in mass production processes.
A craftsman can put his personal stamp on the craft until the final moment when he finishes it, while the industrial products within a certain range are all the same and manufactured at high speed.
What do the crafts represent?
Handicrafts are products that symbolize the culture of a country (the charro hat), a region (the Tamaulipas cuera) or a town (the copper pieces from Santa Clara del Cobre).
Other objects that fall within the definition of crafts are those made by a cultural community, such as Huichol yarn paintings and Mazahua embroidery.
The sale of Mexican handicrafts is usually carried out in craft markets located in cities, towns and in stores dedicated to the activity.
What are alebrijes?
Alebrijes are colorful cardboard figures created in the 1930s by the Mexican cartonero, Pedro Linares López, after an illness that caused him to dream of fantastic figurines that he decided to turn into reality.
Diego Rivera liked his work so much that the famous painter made him some commissions that are currently exhibited in the Anahuacalli Museum.
In the Oaxacan towns of San Antonio Arrazola and San Martín Tilcajete, they manufacture colorful alebrijes with copal wood.
What are the characteristics of alebrijes?
Alebrijes are figures with a high imaginative component in which the craftsman can model from a more or less simple image, to a small multi-headed monster recently given birth by a fevered mind like that of the master Pedro Linares López, when he conceived them.
Other characteristics of alebrijes are their color and the attention to detail that requires a lot of patience.
What is the craft of the Otomi?
The Otomí is a people of about 65 thousand indigenous people who live mainly in the states of Mexico, Hidalgo and Querétaro.
The Otomi are skilled weavers since the time when they had to pay their tributes with textile garments made from natural fibers, such as maguey, cotton and lechuguilla.
Among the main Otomi-made products are rebozos, girdles, guanengos, shirts, ayates and backpacks.
Other Otomi crafts are embroidery, basketry, dolls, palm hats, straw bags, and molcajetes.
easy mexican crafts
If you want to venture into the world of crafts, we recommend starting with something relatively easy.
One idea is to make a mask for the upcoming Day of the Dead using cardboard, paint, and other materials.
Carving wooden sculptures can also be a rewarding activity.
You can start by trying to sculpt a face out of a dried coconut. A beach shell necklace or bracelet can also be a good starter project.
How to make Mexican crafts
Do you dare to make your own crafts? Here you will learn how to make a beautiful Mexican doll.
Mexican crafts for children
Some examples of handicrafts for children that you can get in Mexico are wooden dolls and toys, which are sold in many craft markets in the country.
For kid-friendly crafts, some easy ideas include an egg carton caterpillar, a Chinese lantern, and a collage with shells and beach pebbles.
Types of Mexican crafts
In Mexico, a wide variety of crafts are carried out. 10 types of Mexican handicrafts are toys, dolls, basketry, pottery and ceramics, jewelry, leather work, silverware, masks, metalwork, and candle making.
Do you have any of these crafts at home? Which one did you find the most interesting? Share this article with your friends so that they also learn about the fascinating universe of Mexican handicrafts.
- Read our guide on the 56 tourist places in Mexico that you have to visit
- We leave you our guide with the 12 typical drinks of Mexico, the most popular and delicious (with alcohol)
- Click here to know the 10 cultural attractions of the State of Mexico