Oaxacan Art

The state of Oaxaca is my first destination in my gap year travels. From the UNESCO archeological sites, to the vibrant indigenous culture and culinary scene, I made it a must to visit its many cities and villages. From my time in Oaxaca de Juárez, I saw the vast talent of its many artists. Here are some examples.

Barro Negro

Transforming rock into clay into pottery can only be done with the talent of local artists, but help from furnaces’ intense heat, and knowledgeable hands turns the brown dust into this beautiful black vase.

Example from the Museo de la Filatelia


In the village of Teotitlán del Valle lies a long history of rug making and weaving. My favourite visit of them all, I admire the artisans efficacy and creativity as well as the beautiful patterns and designs that come out of the process. A fun activity to photograph as well.


The art of alebrije is most often linked with the movie Coco, but has surprisingly short tradition of mixing animal forms and colour within a sculpture. Deriving from merchant activities in the mid-20th century, the Zapotec descendants still embody in wood “a representation of a spiritual world filled with imaginary animals”.

Two examples of figurines on a ferris wheel in the Museo de la Filatelia

Velas de Concha

This art form still accompanies nuptial rites where a marriage would be preceded by the gift of hand-made candles.


Chibnik, M. (2008). Advertising Oaxacan Woodcarvings. Human Organization, 67(4), 362–372. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44127801

One thought on “Oaxacan Art

  1. Pingback: Oaxaca (A Short History) – A Bee on the Go

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