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Old 02-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #136
FastJoyRide
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Hi Steve: I don't think we've met but Pedro turned me onto your RR - great job!

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Old 02-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #137
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Hi Steve: I don't think we've met but Pedro turned me onto your RR - great job!

Dave
Hi Dave
Thanks for coming along for the ride and for your kind comments. And, welcome to Adventure Rider.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:54 AM   #138
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Just a really nice job on the report...thanks for taking the time to bring us along!
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:19 AM   #139
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Just a really nice job on the report...thanks for taking the time to bring us along!
Thanks for your kind comments WaywardSon, really appreciated.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #140
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Days 31- 35 - Feb17-20 Part 5

So, was looking through Traditions Mexico (www.traditionsmexico.com) website and while they have a lot of extended tours, they also do day tours with specific themes. We thought one on weaving would be interesting since a nearby town is where most of the traditional weaving is done. While they didn't have a tour schedualed for the times we wanted, they hooked us up with a guide who could take us in her own vehicle. Cool. Linda Hanna is quite a knowledgeable affecianto of local art which made for an entertaining day.

Families of the traditional Zapotec form of weaving are concentrated in the community of Teotitlan de Valle to produce their art. While there are a number of retail outlets in the community, it was really nice to go into the homes of the top weavers, meet them and see how they operate.

It appears the weavers in this area have been producing rugs for something well in excess of 1500 years, using cotton and cactus fibres before the Spanish arrived in the 1500's. The Spanish introduced the loom and sheep for wool. Most if not all of their looms are wooden and made locally.

Prior to the Spanish arriving, the women were the weavers but with the introduction of the loom and Spanish culture, men took over the weaving and women focused on making the dyes and preparing the yarns. In today's world, some women are again becoming weavers.

Looms


Loom detail


Using the loom


Most of the rugs made today in this community are dyed with commercial dyes. However, there are about 20% of the weavers using traditional dyes. These cactus leaves harbor a bug that take about 3 months to mature. At that time they are picked off and squashed realeasing a fluid (not blood) that is bright red. Mix it with lime juce and get orange. Mix it with a base and get purple.




Blues, yellows and some other colors are derived from indiginous plants.


Yarns are dyed by soaking and cooking in large pots




When done, they drain for awhile


Then are hung out to dry with the laundry


When dry, they are stockpiled until needed. The colors were fantastic






When ready to weave, the yarn has to be rolled onto bobbins using this spinning wheel machine


Like this


Then they are woven on the looms at the start into some very cool rugs

This weaver is known to do some difficult non-traditional designs for some New York artists in addition to more traditional work




These are from the family using natural dyes




Representing the Zacotecan calendar


Mrs RexBuck took a liking to this one - with the lady who did the weaving


This family had us join them for a traditional Zactecan meal (Mmmmmm good!)


Then showed us some of their work






There was one from this familiy Mrs RB took a liking to but I don't have a decent pic. Will include later if I can.

This 'womens coop is just finishing this huge piece for a San Francisco law firm
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #141
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RexBuck: The Photo's and narrative just keep getting better & better....

Thanks for the great RR......
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #142
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Report

Just a fantastic trip report, looking forward to the next installment.....
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:21 AM   #143
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Are you heading further south to Chiapas? If you liked Oaxaca you will love San Cristobal de Las Casas...
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:28 AM   #144
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Coffee break browsing!

We've been spending our coffee breaks here forgetting about work & the white stuff thats piling up outside.
Thanks for sharing your trip with us we are thoroughly enjoying it!
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #145
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RexBuck: The Photo's and narrative just keep getting better & better....

Thanks for the great RR......
Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by terrapinneck View Post
Just a fantastic trip report, looking forward to the next installment.....
Great - thanks for that. Next installment may not be for a day or so . . . probably 2 or 3 more Oaxaca installments.

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We've been spending our coffee breaks here forgetting about work & the white stuff thats piling up outside.
Thanks for sharing your trip with us we are thoroughly enjoying it!
You are quite welcome. Having wasted tons of time reading RRs when I was working, I'm happy I can give a little payback.

Thanks for tagging along.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #146
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Are you heading further south to Chiapas? If you liked Oaxaca you will love San Cristobal de Las Casas...
That is a great question and I appreciate your comments. I've been kind of 50/50 whether or not to go further south. I need to do some ride planning for next week when I leave the Oaxaca area. I think if I have the time (and why wouldn't I? ) I'll try to make it down there.

Should be able to start proper planning in about half an hour, when the Bohemia Obscura is chilled.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #147
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Days 31- 35 - Feb17-20 Part 6

In the town of Teotitlan, in addition to weavers they have a few Zapotec candlemakers. As part of the weaving tour we visited one of the candlemaking families.

I liked this because:
A - The candles are cool and the methods are pretty simple


B - The 3 year old daughter


In this family, Mama is the boss and makes the candles and decorations while Papa melts wax, gathers wood and carries stuff around. The kids help Mama. This family’s (as are most families in the town) primary language is the Zapotec Indian language with Spanish to communicate with the rest of the world. So, any discussion between family members was always in the native tongue.

All of the candles and decorations are made from beeswax which starts off like this. You know it must be beeswax because of the dead bees stuck in it.


Melted in these pots over wood fire while wick is prepared



Hot wax poured on the wicks to slowly (really slowly) build the candles up


to guys like these


Or, a monster like this. Since a good percentage of the candles are used in churches, I suspect this is going to one big church.


Flowers are also made from beeswax. Various molds are dipped into hot wax then cooled and popped off the mold




then trimmed and shapped to be assembled as a flower. Some are natural color and others use wax dyed with about any color you want.








Peeking around a corner was the 3 year old


Mom calls her over




Hands her a mold


She goes to work (How many mothers out there would be letting their 3 year old kid play in hot wax?)


Mom, is very calm and very patient


Success – Happy Mom




Proud Dad


She’s pretty proud of this herself


Gives it to Mom


Proceeds to grab some scisors (Moms are a titterin again ) and make some flowers of her own
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #148
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Going further south

Hey Rexbuck: I've been following along with your report and I think you would enjoy San Cristobal de las Casas. It has a great vibe...with lots of indigenous villages to explore in the nearby hills. Great markets and great restaurants. If you want to get more specific...send me a PM.

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Old 03-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #149
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Hey Rexbuck: I've been following along with your report and I think you would enjoy San Cristobal de las Casas. It has a great vibe...with lots of indigenous villages to explore in the nearby hills. Great markets and great restaurants. If you want to get more specific...send me a PM.

Johnnydarock
He Johnnydarock, thanks for the comments. You have mail
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #150
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San Cristobal de las Casas INFO

Hey Rexbuck: Here's what I know. The attraction to San Cristobal de las Casas is it's smal colonial city charm surrounded by indigenous Tzotzil and Tzeltal indian villages. I always stay at a small hotel called Jardines el Cerrillo located at Av. Belisario Domingues No. 27. It's close to everything (as you will want to walk around this town) about $40 and has secure bike parking. To find it...you'll have to get a map or ask directions. If you only have one day here you will want to begin with a visit to a local village called San Juan Chamula (about 10kms). Try to make it on Sunday (market day) but any day is good. Go early. You'll want to buy a ticket at the city hall and go to the church. There will be many shaman healers doing their thing. Just stand in the back and watch. No camaras are allowed (even around town) and you'll see them sacrificing chickens or downing a full Coke to burp in order to expel evil spirits. Get back to San Cristobal in the afternoon and wonder through the main market. There will many indians running around in their local dress...great photos. You'll think you're in another world. Find a nice restaurant and enjoy a Negro Modelo.

Tonina is a great ruin as it probably sees 10 visitors a day. Don't forget to visit Agua Azul on the way to Palenque. The ride over the mountains is fun and much like that road from the Pacific coast to Oaxaca. Take it slow as you can come around a corner and there will be only half the road in many places. Plus you may come across more of those "bandidos" you encountered with the rope across the road asking for a "road tax." I always stay at Campground Mayabel near the Palenque ruins (walking distance). They have nice rooms as well as camping and a great restaurant. It has a fun vibe and there is usually music most nights in the restaurant. Get to the Palenque ruins early as the big buses full of fat tourist start showing up at 9am and the place is a zoo by 10am.

That's about it. Have fun!

Johnnydarock

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