Our folk arts and handcrafts are a rich blend of indigenous cultures and traditions mixed with European techniques and influences. All made in Mexico they are collected by connoisseurs worldwide.
This traditional Mexican holiday takes place every year on November 1st and 2nd , the two days of the year the dead are believed to come back to visit the living. To prepare for this event, Mexicans make temporary altars in their homes or offices and decorate them (as well as their family tombs) with flowers, bread, and fruits. Within traditional Mexican communities, death is not viewed as such a frightening event as in the US and other countries; thus, Mexican artists have developed a whimsical outlook of the subject, creating toy skeletons that are portrayed taking part in everyday life. This might seem strange to an outsider, but in Mexico, death is seen as a part of life.
Doña Rosa’s legacy, the most influential Barro Negro potter of the 20th century, continues at her studio by her son and grandchildren, in Oaxaca. Here, the Zapotec tradition started centuries ago, making these exquisite pieces by hand, without the use of a potters wheels or molds, is continued. Pieces from her studio have a special meaning to Barro Negro history, as she introduced the innovation of creating its characteristic beautiful black sheen by burnishing pieces with quartz. Amazingly, this beautiful finish is produced without glazes. Her pieces are at the Smithsonian, and in the Rockefeller Art Collection. Given that this is a fully crafted approach, each piece, has a unique folk art distinctiveness.
Milagros are Roman Catholic ex votos, or votive offerings; small token replicas of the cure, solution, or item that someone was praying for and are offered up to Jesus or a saint as a physical manifestation of the petitioner’s promise to do something in return for granting the petition. Sometimes they are offered up as a “thank-you gift” for granting the prayer, but regardless of the purpose, the small ex voto must be placed in physical contact with the statue or painting of the saint to which they were offered, if the magic is to work. These ex votos usually are made of silver or gold, but can be crafted from other materials; pewter, wax, and wood are some of the more common substitutes. Often, at some point years after the silver or gold ex votos were pinned to the saint, the custodian of the church will remove them and melt them down to make new candleholders, chalices, or other religious accouterments.
Several artisans who work closely with Los Cinco Soles have replicated some of the most beautiful and most interesting examples of these little milagros and then use them to adorn decorative items and to create jewelry that are ideal gifts for loved ones, or something you can take home as a memento of your visit to Cozumel.
From Guerrero, this dazzling decorated pottery is a rich and colorful source of information about typical Mexican village life. The subjects, often painted in profile, are the villagers themselves. They are engaged in everyday activities: plowing, fishing, harvesting, and attending mass or festivals.
These spectacular figures are called Alebrijes. Oaxacan artists carve them from the wood of the Copal, Huanacaxtle, and Naranjo trees. They are brightly painted amalgamations of real and mythical animals.
The most significant artistic expression of Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas is pottery. Their skills and creativity enabled them to be on the forefront of ceramic art. Ceramics was not limited to art, but was also used in making simple domestic tools. We are proud to have amazingly similar and authentic replicas of Pre-Columbian pottery. Each piece is hand crafted often by descendants of the original creators-the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Olmecs who through centuries have kept this art alive in Mexico.
Mexican toys are among the most imaginative in the world. Fashioned from a vast range of materials, they reveal the ingenuity and inventiveness of their creators. Privileged Mexican children may accumulate a plethora of toys during the year, but for children living in isolated or impoverished regions, receiving a new toy is a memorable event; a brightly colored whistle or paper kite stimulates the imagination and offers escape from the harsh reality of life. Take home one of the most special, simple treasures of our land.
Christmas celebration in Mexico is part of its Spanish heritage. Artisans have gone from producing “nacimientos” or crèche figures to everything Christmas: tin, straw, papier machė, textiles, clay and ceramics tree ornaments, to using these same materials again in wall hangings, art objects and an enormous variety of designs and sizes of nativity scenes. One of the most exquisite of the Christmas ornaments Los Cinco Soles offers is that of the Tonahli workshop in the state of Guerrero. These very delicate clay spheres (of limited production) are hand painted with village scenes, animals, flowers, and birds.
Los Cinco Soles gift certificates make a great gift for any occasion and for those on your shopping list. It is fast and easy!