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Ann Murdy | profile | all galleries >> La Tianguis Artesanal de Domingo de Ramos in Uruapan and Semana Santa around Lake Patzcuaro 2016 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

La Tianguis Artesanal de Domingo de Ramos in Uruapan and Semana Santa around Lake Patzcuaro 2016

In 2016 the city of Uruapan in the state of Michoacán, Mexico held the fifty-sixth annual artisan’s market. This folk art market is considered the biggest of it’s kind in all of Latin America. This year there were 1,300 artisans participating in the market. The market ran from March 19th until April 3rd. There were artisans from thirty-four municipalities that participated in the market. The four indigenous groups represented were the Purépecha, Nahuatl, Mazahua and Otomí. This market is the best place to see all the marvelous folk art and textiles that are made in the state of Michoacán.

Five years ago I attended the market. I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of merchandise one can see during the market. The main market takes place on two large city blocks of the zócalo. Here one could see copper from Santa Clara de Cobre, catrinas from Capula, colorful ceramics from Ocumicho, straw work and ceramics from Tzintzuntzan, the green ceramic pineapples from Patamban, ceramic squashes from Zinapécuaro, maque from Uruapan, black candlestick holders from Santa Fe de Laguna and much more. Across the street at La Huatapera is the Textile Court. Here one can find textiles from all over Michoacán such as the puffy sleeved, blouses and flocked velvet aprons from Paracho, rebozos from Ahuiran, white cotton blouses using the technique of deshilado to create designs from San Felipe de los Herreros, blouses from Tarecuato, sequin blouses from San Lorenzo, cross stitched blouses known as “punta de la cruz” from Pichátaro and Cucucho, blouses with embroidered figurines from Sanabria along with many more.

The best pieces of both textiles and folk art are entered into the concurso, which is held across the street from the main market at the Casa de Cultura. Ribbons for first, second and third place are given in respective categories. The pieces entered in the concurso are the best of the best and the most expensive.

The event starts off with a desfile or parade on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. All the artisans participate in the parade dressed in their indigenous clothing. The parade starts at ten in the morning in front of the entrance of the Eduardo Ruiz National Park. This is really one of the best events of the entire market. My favorite group to photograph this time around were the women from Santa Fe de Laguna. They were dressed as danza de las moras.

On Sunday the concurso of regional traje takes place inside the textile court. Unfortunately, this year the event was delayed. The contestants waited behind the stage in the textile court for three hours before the event started. Due to the long wait more than half of them left and didn’t participate in showing off their regional traje onstage. What should have been a wonderful display of the contestants modeling their indigenous clothing, ended up being an abbreviated event from what I saw five years ago. This was most unfortunate, as the event should have lasted at least a half hour or more. As most of the artists left, the actual event was only ten minutes. Once this event concluded, a dance group from Caltzontzin performed the dance of the Kurpites. A man who represents the Virgin Mary performs the female role in this dance. He is known as a maringuía.

After leaving Uruapan I went onto Patzcuaro for Semana Santa, which was a very subdued affair compared to what I have seen in Oaxaca, Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende. The altars for the Madre Dolorosa in the public places stayed up for all of Holy Week, whereas the ones constructed in the church were only up on the Friday preceding Palm Sunday. Only in Michoacán have I seen the usage of seeds to make discs and figures for these altars. The Silent Procession, which took place on Saturday evening, was only made up of members from the church of San Francisco. On Sunday evening Judases were burned, but I prefer the castillos that one sees in Oaxaca on Easter Sunday.

The highlight of the trip was being in Uruapan and witnessing all the fabulous folk art and textiles during the market of the artisans. It and the parade were truly marvelous!
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Lady from Santa Fe de Laguna in parade
Lady from Santa Fe de Laguna in parade
Delegation from Caltzontzin
Delegation from Caltzontzin
Man from Pamatácuaro
Man from Pamatácuaro
Dancing Away
Dancing Away
Maringuía dancer from Caltontzin
Maringuía dancer from Caltontzin
Man wearing wooden mask
Man wearing wooden mask
Group from Pamatácuaro
Group from Pamatácuaro
Contestants in concurso
Contestants in concurso
Masked dancer from Pamatácuaro
Masked dancer from Pamatácuaro
Little boy from Santa Clara de Cobre
Little boy from Santa Clara de Cobre
Woman with veil from Santa Fe de Laguna
Woman with veil from Santa Fe de Laguna
Delegation from Santa Fe de Laguna
Delegation from Santa Fe de Laguna
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