Monday, April 13, 2015

A visit to San Cristobal de las Casas

It's always wonderful to travel to somewhere you have never been. Before our workshop  
 in Oaxaca began we had the chance to visit San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico.  We only had a few days to explore this charming town but we made the most of by taking a field trip to two different Mayan villages near by and taking the time to walk around town exploring the markets, trying new restaurants, and even finding a French bakery.
 Above is one of the colorful walking streets in San Cristobal-shops full of art, textiles, jewelry, clothing and lots of restaurants line each side of the street.

One of the churches with beautiful decorative design work by the main plaza.

Beautiful skies and perfect weather greeted us....

A style of embroidery that is special to this area, done on handwoven wool.

Our first visit was to the Mayan village of Chamula. Our Mayan guide was from a different village and gave our group a historical overview and took us to visit the local Shaman's home and  explained all of the symbology behind the altar and images within. 

The Shaman's front door is decorated with herbs.

We went to the central mercado with the wonderful church facade.

Chamula women with their wool skirts.

We also visited the Mayan village of Zincantan. Famous for their flowers that are shipped all over Mexico, their embroidery is covered with bright floral motifs.  We visited the home of some local weavers where we were treated to homemade tortillas and salsa. Delicious!

Some of the Zincantan embroidery, even the men's shirts were covered in flowers.

Fresh corn tortillas for our group.

I found these colorful embroidered hearts in the market back in San Cristobal.

We had time to visit the Textile museum in San Cristobal located in a remodeled convent. The collection of embroidered huipils from all over Mexico and Guatemala was amazing and so inspiring.Everything was beautifully displayed in lighted drawers. The work was breathtaking and included so many techniques from so many different areas...almost too much to take in one visit!

Just a tiny taste of the wonderful embroidery...

Our hotel had lovely folk art everywhere as well and great breakfasts, too.

Our next stop was Oaxaca and time to meet up with our wonderful group of women and get ready for our field trip and two days of dyeing with natural plants of Oaxaca.