Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Museums and Textiles

Oaxaca is famous for its textiles, especially rugs and other items like bags and scarves woven from wool, died with natural colors in the small pueblos surrounding the city in the Valley of Oaxaca. I have been busy looking and buying those that catch my eye in the many shops and street stalls around the city.

Yesterday I visited the Textile Museum and there was an amazing exhibit of Guatemalan weavings and huipiles, or traditional shirts, that are worn by the indigenous people of Guatemala. Each pueblo or region has there own specific style that let’s anyone they meet know where they are from. I fell in love with these clothes when I visited Guatemala 15 years ago with my father and really enjoyed seeing so many excellent examples of the work here.

Many of the figures represent the religion of the Maya, with animals like the eagle and jaguar seen frequently embroidered or woven into the cloth.

At the Palacio there are murals covering one entire wall that show the history of Oaxaca, this one has Benito Juarez, their native son, front and center. He rose from poverty to become the President in 1858, representing the indigenous peoples for the first time in Mexican history, many things here are named after him.

In the Museum of Santo Domingo I encountered a large exhibit of puppets that were all extremely playful, colorful, fun.

Also a number of embroidered textiles representing stained glass windows, intricate stitches in infinite colors make the pieces appear as if they were truly glass.

I’m off today to visit the main market which I’ve yet to see and probably buy some more stuff, I’ve got to stop soon as my bags are only so big!

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