Wednesday, August 13, 2014

OAXACA, OAXACA: AN AMAZING CITY


         OAXACA AND THE ICONIC CHURCH OF SANTO DOMINGO

                         

After living in and loving the state of Yucatan, Mexico it was time to move on. I had what my husband calls my “itchy feet” syndrome which manifests itself approximately every eighteen months, more or less. And when the feet get the itch to hit the road there is no denying them. After taking many factors into consideration we decided that our next living adventure would be in Oaxaca, the city and capital of the state of Oaxaca. We had visited Oaxaca as visitors twice in the early years after we moved to Mexico and remembered it as a fascinating place. It was time to relocate and become Oaxaquenos as the natives and residents of Oaxaca are called.



Can you find the state of Oaxaca? Hint: it's in the southern part of Mexico and its color is Green.


It is never too soon to learn the traditional dances of Oaxaca!


Colorful and traditional folkloric dances in the square of the Basilica del Nuestra Senora de La Soledad in Oaxaca City.


 
The Church and former monastery of Santo Domingo is the setting of choice for a memorable photograph of a very pretty bride.


The Cathedral of Oaxaca and the main zocolo (plaza) of Oaxaca are all decked out with poinsettias (which are native to Mexico) for the Christmas holidays.


There was and is a large indigenous culture that makes it one of the two largest indigenous populated states in Mexico.


 
The Dance of the Plumes (feathers) performed during Easter week is a very traditional indigenous dance and an exhausting workout.


 

A lovely lady from one of the many indigenous groups of Oaxaca wearing a traditional huipil top.


 
A local woman with child selling vegetables on the street of Oaxaca.


Two of the most important archaeological ruins in Mexico,  Monte Albán and Mitla, are located in Oaxaca.


Monte Albán located just outside the city of Oaxaca was named a World Heritage Site in 1987 - truly outstanding.


The ruins of Mitla are a showcase of artistic stone fretwork which is found nowhere else in the ancient Latin world.

The stone carvings at Monte Alban are really stunning.

Oaxaca has a fabulous culinary tradition with some of the most outstanding food in Mexico including moles, tamales, and chocolate.



Traditional foods including handmade tamales with different fillings are sold daily in front of the Benito Juarez Mercado.



Traditional foods are prepared daily to either eat at the mercado (market) or "para llevar" (to go). Decisions are hard to make when there are so many great choices.



Women from the surrounding pueblos bring their produce to the city to sell and to also catch up on the local gossip.

There are fabulous traditional fiestas including Semana Santa (Easter Week celebrations), Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead celebrations), the Radish Fiesta (unique to only Oaxaca City); and the annual Guelaguetza, the traditional folk dance festival which is famous not only in Mexico, but internationally as well.


The Good Friday processions are HUGE in Oaxaca City!



The Good Friday processions are especially dramatic at night with the candles, smoking incense, and mournful sounding drums.



The annual Guelaguetza dance festival is held each summer and visitors come from many, many countries to to enjoy.



Oaxaca is also known for its exuberant Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities each year on November 1st and 2nd. "Altars" are constructed by families in remembrance of dearly departed ones.



The Radish Festival is unique to Oaxaca City and is celebrated on December 23rd each year. The main square is filled with competitors who vie for awards for the most uniquely carved radishes and artistic corn husks.


And if these attributes were not enough, the arts, crafts, and the outstanding textile tradition of Oaxaca are beyond comparison. A visitor cannot be anything but thoroughly enchanted with all that Oaxaca has to offer.


Alebrijes are individually hand carved from local wood and hand painted. These unique creatures are a Oaxacan specialty and are prized by collectors.



A visit to the Rudolfo Morales Gallery can be combined with a visit to the weekly market in Ocotlan. The gallery is one of our favorites.

 Individually carved masks are worn in traditional dances which predate the arrival of the Spanish and are popular with collectors.


Check out the embroidery detail on this huipil, the traditional "blouse" of indigenous Mayan women.



The textiles of Oaxaca are ART to be worn with pride and the motifs vary according to the region of origin.


 In addition to the magic of Oaxaca City, the entire state Oaxaca has something to entice and enchant travelers of all interests. The surrounding pueblos, or small towns, were fascinating to visit during their weekly markets where the locals gather as they have since pre-Colombian times to buy and trade foods of every type of imaginable product. These traditional weekly markets (tianguis) are exciting and colorful beyond words.



The overwhelming selection of produce at one of the weekly markets outside of Oaxaca City is amazing! And enjoying the action of commerce is a real experience!



Looking for the perfect chilies in this massive pile! I think I might also need some garlic from the lady checking me out.



I call this photograph "Lost in the Banana Patch" - can you believe the quantity???

                            AND MY FINAL CLOSING SHOT OF OAXACA! 



I hope this handsome piece of meat isn't on the market at the market! Notice that his keeper has brought some nice greens to keep him busy and out of trouble.

I hope that this small introduction to Oaxaca has planted the seed for a visit. I plan on sharing more of the magical pueblos that surround Oaxaca City including Ocotlan and Zaachila which are two of my favorite pueblos. I will also be posting on the beautiful Pacific Coast beaches of Oaxaca including Puerto Escondido.

I remember many, many years ago hearing that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I am a believer so following is a link to my WEB ALBUM which has additional photos for this posting. 

OAXACA WEB ALBUM

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, suggestions, or questions. Until next time, saludos and hope to see you again very soon. Laura


Memories are just a click away!

No comments:

Post a Comment