Things have been fairly quiet around here for the last few days, hence the lack of blog posts! I returned to the D.F. from Xalapa on Wednesday and spent the rest of the week doing work and practicing. Jeff returned really late Friday night (actually, Saturday morning!) and we had a nice weekend running errands and hanging out before he left again for Xalapa this afternoon. This week, he will be playing a few concerts of traditional Mexican music. I’ll let him fill you guys in about that later!
While out today, we bought another traditional Mexican item for our apartment, so I thought I’d write about the purchases we’ve made since being here. We haven’t bought too much but are hoping to gradually add to our stash as the year continues. We’ve been here long enough now to have an idea of the kinds of things we want, so when we see what we like at a good price, we usually go ahead and purchase it.
Item 1: These types of crafts are all over markets here and come in all kinds of colors and sizes. Every one I’ve seen has been a depiction of some kind of animal. We chose a coyote, a symbol of the section of the city where I go to school, Coyoacán. The name comes from the Nahuatl (an indigenous people/language) and means “place of coyotes.”
Item 2: These are also super popular and can be found everywhere. Where as the previous item is made of wood, these are (I think) a type of pottery that is painted and then glazed. Lizards are very popular but there are also cats, frogs, sun/moon designs (soon to come!), and many others that I can’t remember right now. We liked these two guys together so we mounted them on the wall like this.
Item 3: The sun/moon configurations are very popular and are very important in Aztec mythology. The depictions can be found in all colors and sizes. We’ve probably seen more with the sun as the more prominent symbol but we chose one with the moon more prominent.
Item 4: In our effort to clean out before leaving Lawrence, we got rid of all of our vases. They weren’t particularly nice just because they were standard ones that you get when someone sends you flowers. So when we arrived here, Jeff began searching for a vase so he could buy me flowers (insert awww!).
Item 5: When walking through Parque México today, we came upon a set of tents that were celebrating Oaxacan (Oaxaca is a state in the south of Mexico) culture and selling crafts, jewelry, foods, and clothing. We bought this hanging made of amate paper with designs threaded in. I’m not exactly sure how accurate this website is but it basically states what was explained to us about the process of making this paper from the man we bought ours from: http://home.earthlink.net/~kering/amate.html
Item 6: And finally, I bought my first book in Spanish! It’s actually perfect because it’s a collection of interviews with important Mexican composers and musicians. The fact that it is conversational in form makes it much easier to translate than if it were written in textbook language.