Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amigos del Arte Popular

Los Amigos del Arte Popular is a group that seriously loves Mexican art in all its forms and aesthetics. I met one of the members by chance at an exhibit - she was an older woman that traveled frequently to Mexico with Los Amigos. I love that in addition to their careful research they also have preservation goals for many of the art forms.

Their website is a virtual museum that you can visit and enter...I thought that was cool. Here is their web address:

Here is a small excerpt from their website on one of my favorite topics....
Filigree jewelry produced in Oaxaca may also feature carved leaves and flowers in different gold colors, which are attached to a gold filigree framework to which pearls are added to accent the design. [Insert Oaxaca gold earrings comp] In the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and Juchitán, the filigree is embellished with gold coins that were either Mexican or American in origin.

Native women from the town of Yalalag in Oaxaca wear a distinctive Yalalag cross necklace. The Yalalag cross may be in either gold or silver and features a large central cross and three smaller crosses which dangle beneath the large cross.

The origin of the cross is attributed to the Dominican order who settled in this area of Mexico. The design is thought to be from Salamanca, Spain and was copied by an indigenous metalsmith, which, over time, assumed a distinctive Mexican character. Young women from the village of Yalalag wear earrings prior to marriage and when married begin to wear the cross necklace.

Currently, artisans producing jewelry in the traditional manner have felt pressure from overseas. Much of the jewelry sold in Oaxaca currently is produced in China. To preserve this art, value must be assigned to the craft and the time required for production of jewelry in this style. It is our hope that this generation and others to come will seek out traditional Oaxacan jewelry to keep this beautiful art alive and flourishing.

Informational sources:
The reference for the pre-Hispanic jewelry came from "Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families" (2007) by Rothstein and Rothstein, page 172. Filigree jewelry reference: "Mexican Jewelry" by Pack and Davis, pages 111-112. Yalalag cross reference: "Artes de Mexico: Alhajas Mexicanos" No.165, Ano XX, page 87. White sapphire style jewelry reference: "Mexican Folk Art by Oaxacan Artist Families" (2007) by Rothstein and Rothstein, pages 170-171.

1 comment:

  1. buy me a pair??!! those are super cute. cept...i'm ALWAYS afraid of being deported...