What do you notice about all of these women? If you've spent any time in Mexico you'll probably say that they are indigenous. And if you've been lucky enough to visit Michoacán you might even know that they are Purepecha, the largest indigenous group in the state. I'll give you a hint: take a look at their ears. They're all wearing the same style earrings. Shaped like the moon, these iconic silver or gold hoop earrings may vary in size, but are without a doubt a traditional accessory for thousands of girls and women in villages around Lake Patzcuaro and the Meseta Purepecha. They're made by one family in the town of Cherán, an interesting community that has been written about extensively in the past ten years. (See my link below to read more.)
The earrings are made by Rigoberto Contreras Alonso who learned the craft from his father, Leonardo, who learned it from his father and grandfather. His mother Benedicta Alonso Hernandez also worked in the workshop until her death in 2020. Now the 5th generation— Rigoberto’s son (age 22) and daughter (age 18) continue working in the family workshop.
Rigoberto in his workshop (above) and his mother Benedicta below.
Women in the United States love these earrings too! We have received many orders for them both on our website and to sell wholesale. They're light (wait, do I even have earrings on?) and they can be either worn as an elegant addition when dressing up, or as a casual pair when wearing your jeans. My friend Jenn wears her Cherán earrings almost every day, and I personally feel like doing the same. They look beautiful, and I like feeling connected to these women who are also talented artesanas-- as well as to the community of Cherán and their struggle.
More about Cherán here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cheran-mexico
To purchase silver earrings from Cherán, go to our website: https://mexico-by-hand.myshopify.com/collections/silver-earrings/products/traditional-purepecha-silver-hoops-1