Discover Los Cabos’ vibrant arts and crafts movement
By Sandra A. Berry
México is known for its colorful arts, crafts, pottery, and unique jewelry. In Los Cabos, stores sport an unlimited selection of these items imported from mainland México. Large markets scattered throughout the region are chockfull of all the souvenirs you could want. And, if you are looking for more significant quality pieces, specialty shops offer an exciting assortment.
Keep an eye out for alebrijes: handmade wood carvings of imaginary creatures like dragons or a combination of reptile, bird, insect, or mammal that are colorfully painted in great detail. The name—for which there is no good translation—was conjured up in a dream many years ago, but nearly everyone in México is familiar with these fantastical mythical creatures from Oaxaca.
Huichol art is another wonderful find. The Huichol Indians of México’s Sierra Madre Mountains are descendants of the ancient Aztecs and known for their beautifully intricate yarn paintings and beadwork.
Another specialty item is La Catrina, México’s beloved grande dame of death with a mischievous smile. Originally depicted as a tall, elegantly attired female skeleton sporting an extravagantly plumed French-style hat, the figure is enriched with the history and culture of México with political and social satire. She is the icon of Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead), when families honor the dearly departed. This annual tradition is not to be confused or associated with Halloween.
The people of México have a healthy attitude toward death, treating it with joy instead of dread. Colorful figurines depicting various walks of life, business, vocation, etc. are symbols of this tradition and make interesting gifts of a memorable trip to México.
Another representative item of México is talavera, handmade and hand-painted ceramic pottery that best reflects the fine craftsmanship of Mexican artisans. The talavera style was originally brought to México by Spanish potters who arrived in the state of Puebla in the 16th century. Although the original procedures of talavera making remained untouched in many of the workshops in Puebla and Guanajuato, Mexican Pottery in Los Cabos has been serving its valued customers since 1996 with a convenient ceramic variation of the original talavera that is suitable for daily use, 100 percent lead free, microwavable, and oven and dishwasher safe.
Every single piece is made and painted by hand with original talavera patterns by Mexican Pottery’s skilled artisans at their workshop in the town of Dolores Hidalgo.
The company offers a wide selection of patterns, shapes, and sizes of plates, bowls, tiles, drink ware, dishware, and more. Gone are the days when you would return home from Los Cabos with only a decorated mariachi hat and T-shirts for the kids. These are fun items, but there are other unique toys for children such as handmade puppets, masks, and games; coffee from Chiapas; Mexican chocolate; molcajetes for cooking and serving; vanilla for the chef in the family; handwoven baskets; and leather items to name but a few.
Designer clothing from Pineda Covalín—the hottest Mexican fashion house—should be on your list. Look for its most popular design inspired by the monarch butterflies on scarves, ties, ponchos, handbags, and shoes.
If a unique piece of jewelry is on your must-have list, drop by Feinstein Custom Design Jewelry, one of the most trusted and respected jewelers in Cabo San Lucas since 1980. Its owner has more than 60 years of experience creating beautiful pieces from precious stones. And, best of all, Feinstein offers pieces at wholesale prices.
Another must-visit is Indira Gems in San José del Cabo. Designers here are inspired by pre-Columbian cultures such as the Aztecs and Mayans. Carved faces, animals, and fish are featured on rings, pendants, and earrings—all with a contemporary look.
If it is silver you desire, you will want to look for the special mark that guarantees it’s sterling. To carry the “sterling” designation, the alloy must contain 92.5 percent silver, and the mark will prove its authenticity.
The letters, numbers, or pictures on silver are called hallmarks or trademarks and can identify where it was made, the silversmith, approximate age, and the quality or purity of the silver. Many other pieces of artwork will contain the mark of the artist, making it all the more valuable.
For more information about Art and Crafts please visit http://www.loscabosguide.com/shopping/artscraf.htm