Leyendas e historias de Oaxaca: un hombre llamado Crecencio

Según cuentan las personas que viven en Teotitlán del Valle, Crecencio llegó a vivir a Teotitlán como un mozo* que ayudaba a criar ganado y animales domesticados en esta comunidad. Pasaron los años y el arduo trabajo de esa época obligaba a las personas a recolectar cáscaras de los árboles para curtir la piel. En […]

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Huichol art, a matter of survival I: Origins

When does a tradition cease to be a tradition? Conversely, at what point in time and under what circumstances does a tradition begin? “Tradition” may be defined as “a statement, belief, or practice transmitted (especially orally) from one generation to another.”In general a “tradition” lasts a long time, but all traditions have to begin some […]

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Huichol art, a matter of survival II: Authenticity and commercialization

In Part One, we looked briefly at the origins of Huichol religious and commercial art, in particular the yarn or bead paintings. The Norwegian explorer and ethnographer Carl Lumholtz left us detailed descriptions of Huichol art as he found it between 1890 and 1898. We are thus able to compare original Huichol symbolic and decorative […]

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Huichol art, a matter of survival III: Motifs and symbolism

In Parts One and Two, we looked at certain aspects of Huichol art as it is found on the market today, especially the question of its “authenticity” and the commercialization of traditional Huichol religious symbolism and decorative art. We touched on some of the better known artistic creations, such as the colourful yarn or bead paintings and the Huichol cross […]

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Huichol girl making a mask

Huichol art, a matter of survival IV: An art in evolution

Huichol art has come a long way since Carl Lumholtz first recorded it in the late 19th century. In previous articles, we looked at some of the changes that have taken place over the years in the form and function of Huichol art, particularly the transformation from a strictly religious function to a commercialized folk […]

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Panoramic view of Teotihuacan © Rick Meyer, 2001

Personal reminiscences of Mexico’s Huichol people IV: Ritual dance

Some years ago, my parents and I lived at Ana Capri between Tuxcueca and Mismaloya on the south shore of Lake Chapala. Ana Capri was built as a motel but never saw any business because of its difficult location, so we rented it from the owners. There I met Salvador Cardenas, the gardener and caretaker, […]

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Puebla's Quetzal Dance is one of the one of the most colorful folkloric dances in Mexico. © Tony Burton, 2004

Did You Know? Quetzal Dancers in Puebla, Mexico

The Quetzal Dance is one of the most colorful folkloric dances anywhere in the country. It is also thought to be one of the most ancient. Both the dance and the spectacular headdresses worn by those taking part are thought to pre-date the Conquest, perhaps by hundreds of years. The headdresses represent the extravagant colors […]

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