Thursday, March 26, 2009

What A Disappointment

I love Oaxaca and all things Oaxacan. The food, the people, the land, the architecture. All of it. In fact, I took my vacation this year on the Oaxacan coast. So I was understandably excited when I heard that the Oaxaca Fair had set up downtown. So, with a few extra pesos in my pocket, we headed on down to check things out. Didn't take long and I parted with not one peso.

They have set up booths on both sides of the walkway leading from the Square downtown to the newly remodeled malecon. Not too exciting from a short distance away.

There are the standard booths with trinkets and do-dads. Like these drums. I'm just not sure how they fit into the Oaxacan culture though. I'm no expert so maybe. Who knows.

Then there were stacks of these little cars. Racing cars by the looks of them. I actually liked these. The wheels turned on them, but not very well. Just some quick bandsaw cutting probably put these together. I do like how they all have a different company "sponsoring" them. Look at the all the beer companies represented!

These reminded me more of Chiapas than Oaxaca. Chiapas people are known for their hand weaving. Especially these bracelets that are everywhere in Mexico. All being sold by women in long black skirts that look like they are either made from uncured Yak wool or just plain roofing felt. Or their equally ambitious children.

I first saw bedspreads and tablecloths like these in 2007 while visiting Patzcuaro. Nothing distinctly Oaxacan here either.

Or here. These look more like they are straight out of some shop in Merida, Yucatan. I never saw a single woman in Oaxaca wearing a huipil dress.

Now we're getting a little closer to one of the things in Oaxaca that is near and dear to my heart....handwoven rugs. But, alas, these are not them. These are factory, machine woven rip offs.

I would guess that this one may be handwoven. I couldn't get close enough to it to really tell.

I love the bakery goods from Oaxaca too. You never really fill full after eating one.

Now this says Oaxaca. In fact, it is just screaming Oaxaca. The black pottery that they are famous for. I've kind of (but not totally!) left my passion for Talavera behind in pursuit of good pieces of this stuff. I've already been told that I am buying too much of it. I really like the candle thingees with the holes in them. They give off great shadows.

Clothing booth after clothing booth. Again, these are much more Chiapas than Oaxaca. Although I would be hard pressed to swear that they are not popular in Oaxaca. I know they are available also right here on the island but I have no idea where they originally from.

All in all, the "fair" was a big disappointment. Don't waste your time. Unless you want some black pottery!


K.W. Michigan said...

Well, think of it this way, you saved a few pesos!

Life's a Beach! said...

'From Oaxaca'is definitely a phrase in Mexico that gets thrown around loosely to try and sell anything and everything. Great photos! I wonder if the little black pottery turtle that I bought in the corner shop by the supermercado is the same stuff?

Gary Denness said...

Was there no chocolate? No tlayudas?! No mezcal?!?! That's veritable blasphemy. As for the rugs, tapetes are still handwoven in Oaxaca. Whether the ones at your fair were the real deal or not I cannot, however, say!

We get regular Oaxaca fairs in DF. Some are good, some are great, some are a bit blah. It can be a hit and miss affair. It's worth perservering though....maybe the next one will win you over!

Michele in Playa said...

Our "Oaxacan" fair was where I bought the finger puppets. Did you see them there? Any sweaters and such? I love the black pottery but I kind of want to wait and buy it in Oaxaca.

jeanie said...

Wayne can you 'splain about the black pottery. Is it the clay? There must be a story behind it and I would love to buy a piece anywhere in Mexico.

Islagringo said...

jeanie: go here: