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Handcrafts and folk art in the state of mexico

The meaning of «handcrafts and folk art in the state of mexico»

The Mexican State of Mexico produces various kinds of handcrafted items. While not as well documented as the work of other states, it does produce a number of notable items from the pottery of Metepec, the silverwork of the Mazahua people and various textiles including handwoven serapes and rebozos and knotted rugs. There are seventeen recognized handcraft traditions in the state, and include both those with pre Hispanic origins to those brought over by the Spanish after the Conquest. As the state industrializes and competition from cheaper goods increases, handcraft production has diminished. However, there are a number of efforts by state agencies to promote these traditions both inside and outside of Mexico.

Pottery is the most commons handcraft and remains an important economic activity for the state, although most wares are still produced in the traditional manner, with little modernization or industrialization in technique.[1][2] Pottery centers include Metepec, Tecomatepec, Valle de Bravo, Texcoco, Cuauhtitlan and Almoloya de Juárez, and common products include dishes, cups, decorative items and miniatures, such as toy dishes.[1][3] Valle de Bravo makes sets of dishes and other pieces of glazed brown clay, and Texcoco creates reproductions of pre Hispanic pieces as well as newer pieces based on the old designs. Tecomatepec is noted for producing jars for serving pulque.[2]

Metepec is the state’s main pottery center, with a production that stands out for its variety and artistry, which has evolved slowly since the colonial period.[1][2] Although part of the Toluca metropolitan area, the center of this municipality maintains its small town atmosphere, with handcrafts filling stores and street stalls on the streets near the San Juan Bautista parish church.[4] The municipality is home to over 300 artisans and 270 families dedicated in one way or another to this industry, which is its main economic activity.[5] Most of the pottery produced is common glazed wares for everyday use such as large pots, plates and casseroles, often with a blue, green or yellow glaze.[1][2] However, the municipality is better known for its decorative pieces, generally unglazed and painted tempuras in bright and contrasting colors.[1][5] These include items such as nativity scene pieces, figures of horses, sun plaques (hung on the outside of houses) and mermaids, but the most notable decorative piece is called the “tree of life.”[2][5] These look like candelabras which lack places to put candles. Traditionally these were made as allegories for the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and these continue to be made.[3][6] More recently, trees with other themes have appeared including Day of the Dead, pottery making and more. These are low fire pieces, and most are small, no more than thirty cm in height, but monumental versions are made as well such as the one that is in the collection of the Vatican museums.[5][6] Most are also painted in bright colors such as magenta, red, blue, yellow, green, orange and purple but some are left unpainted. In 2009, the Metepec style has been legally protected from imitations by denominación de origen.[6]

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