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News from Michoacán

candelabras Herlinda Purepecha Santa Fe la Laguna sin plomo

News from Michoacán

Greetings from Mexico! I want to tell you some good news and share an experience I had yesterday. You might remember me asking for your help in 2021 when I learned that one of our artisan friends, Herlinda Morales was diagnosed with breast cancer. A crowdfunding campaign was created to help pay her medical expenses and I am so grateful to those of you who were able to help. I will always remember Herlinda recounting her struggle to assert herself, to learn more and to create and sell her art-- while going against her traditional Purepecha father and husband. And...

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Fabulous--but NOT "fast fashion"

embroidered clothing embroidery handmade indigenous

Fabulous--but NOT "fast fashion"

In a couple of weeks we'll be heading to Michoacán to buy more artesanía, and as I've mentioned before, the prices on everything continue to rise. The biggest increase by far is with textiles. So while we in the U.S. see cheap clothing from China and elsewhere at Old Navy and Target costing sometimes less than we paid five years ago, the cost of a handmade embroidered blouse in Michoacán has actually doubled. So, the gorgeous blouses now on our website are in fact a real bargain. Like really inexpensive. You might be able to get one of these beauties yourself at the...

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Traditionally Modern

Cheran earrings hoops Michoacan Purepecha silver traditional

Traditionally Modern

Some clothing and accessories are universally appreciated across cultures and borders. Here's one example.

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Traditional Crafts and Folk Art--direct from the artisans

artesania authentic blouses cultural appropriation Mexico textiles traditional

Traditional Crafts and Folk Art--direct from the artisans

There are a lot of tongues wagging, and rightfully so, about the cultural appropriation (ripping off) of traditional textile designs created by indigenous artisans in Mexico. I am angry and concerned, and also alarmed by what's happening in the Mexican crafts world in general, due to globalization. While you as a customer can find more and more online shops professing to carry items "handmade in Mexico”, beware that there is no way to verify such a claim. No one is policing the internet-- whether it's articles on Facebook about a political candidate or a cute Etsy store selling inexpensive "peasant" blouses. Yuck,...

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Capula Pottery: A Closer Look

Arroyo artesania Capula ceramics clay handmade lead-free pottery traditional

Capula Pottery: A Closer Look

Artisans in Capula sell thousands of quickly produced pieces like the ones in these photos every week (cazuelas, bean pots, plates and bowls) because it’s traditional and VERY inexpensive. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are artisans in Capula who create similar pottery for cooking and serving food, pero es otra cosa--it's a whole other thing. Their work is definitely not ordinary, and “charming” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

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