Oaxaca Diary by Renée Netzel
Our afternoon was devoted to the artisans of Oaxaca. Our first stop was to the Casa de las Artesanias (House of the Artisans). Oaxaca is synonymous with Mexican folk art. Whether you are seeking jewelry, woven rugs, shawls, ceramics or elaborate wooden figures (called alebrijes) you could be overwhelmed by the variety and quality of local crafts. Some would argue that the best place to find these items would be in the small villages outside of Oaxaca where they are handcrafted. However, if you are not able to make the short journey outside of the city, the Casa de las Artesanias is a great alternative. Consisting of six ethnic groups, 27 indigenous communities, 70 family workshops and 10 craftsmen organizations, together as a co-operative they aim to improve and enhance the quality, design, and production techniques of their handicrafts. Here you will find a huge building filled with all sorts of artisan work and very often the artists themselves are on hand to give you a personal demonstration of their skills.
Of course, we found some very unique black pottery that we absolutely had to have. Not surprisingly, we were enticed by a small "urn" made for pouring mezcal or other beverages. But what made it unique was the style...we learned from the artist himself that it was modeled after a Zapotec drinking vessel and he attempted to create it using ancient techniques. As you may have learned about us from our past blogs, we are suckers for great art that has a story behind it. So you can imagine that we snatched up this piece right away!
And after all that shopping and all those great finds, we were ready for a rest and a little snack. On the way back to our B&B we stumbled upon a tapas bar called El Olivo. Serving tasty, upscale pinchos (skewers) and tapas, this must be Oaxaca’s best cocktail bar. They offer a variety of great drinks and even artesanal beers from Oaxaca -how appropriate!
And so, unfortunately, our Oaxaca adventure comes to a close....we fell in love with the city and we were sad to say goodbye. But, we know we will be back again. Afterall, it's only a short 35 minute flight from Huatulco!
Here are some people who made our trip so wonderful...
Casa de Las Bungambilias www.lasbugambilias.com
Discover Oaxaca Tours www.discover-oaxaca.com
La Olla www.laolla.com.mx
Los Danzantes www.losdanzantes.com
Los Pacos www.lospacos.com.mx
Casa Crespo www.casacrespo.com
El Olivo www.callejera.com.mx
Be sure to visit our gallery for more photos of Oaxaca...