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Thanks for stopping in... We’re a small Mexican folk art store located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We personally choose ALL of our hand made pieces from talented artisans all over the great country of Mexico.

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Zinnia Blog

07.01
2015

What do Milagros Signify?

Posted by Anne Damon in milagros, recent   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

This article was written by Marianne Carlson of the Feria Maestros del Arte held every year in mid-November in Ajijic, Mexico. This is one of the premier folk art fairs of Mexico and is definitely worth the trip! 

"Milagros are small metal religious charms. The word milagro means “miracle”. In the not too distant past, these small charms, often depicting arms, legs, praying people, farm animals and a wide range of other subjects were typically nailed or pinned to crosses or wooden statues of various saints like the Virgin Mary or Christ, sacred objects, pinned on the clothing of saint statues, or hung with little red ribbons or threads from altars and shrines. They are also carried for protection and good luck.

Ranging in size from less than 1/2 inch to several inches, they are as unique as the cultures that produce them.

In Mexico, the use of milagros is connected with an institution known as the manda. This where a person will ask a favor a saint, and then, in order to repay the saint...

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06.25
2015

Uncovering Clues from Frida Kahlo's Private Wardrobe by Hunter Oatman-Stanford

Posted by Anne Damon in Frida Kahlo, recent   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Here's an interesting article from Collector's Weekly on Frida's clothing that was hidden for many years after her death. It is currently on display in London. Enjoy!

Uncovering Clues from Frida Kahlo's Private Wardrobe

February 1st, 2013

Frida Kahlo wore her heart on her sleeve, though not the way one might think. In real life, as on the canvases of her many self-portraits, Kahlo used fashion to channel her physical and emotional insecurities into statements of strength, heritage, and beauty. Yet for nearly 50 years, her personal wardrobe remained hidden to scholars and fans alike, locked away shortly after Kahlo’s death in 1954.

“Because of its geometry, it was the perfect dress to disguise Kahlo’s imperfections and distinguish her from her famous husband.”

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06.25
2015

Ocumicho Fantasy Ceramics

Posted by Anne Damon in Masks, Mexican ceramics, Ocumicho, recent   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
There is a very small, remote, dirt-streets town located in the western edge of Michoacan, named Ocumicho. In this little town are the most amazing folk artisans. Their style is recognizable anywhere. Their view of the world is filled with impish devils, fish-eyed persons, comical animals and weirdly shaped whistles and clay figures of all types.  The range of objects goes from individual bird shaped whistles   read more
06.19
2015

6 Ideas for Hostess Gifts Handmade in Mexico

I don't know about you, but I get tired of taking the same old hostess gift of wine. Do you? Here's a little roundup of several popular ideas based on my very scientific research in the Minneapolis folk art store.

1. Milagro Hearts: They come in various sizes and prices starting at $30. Everyone appreciates a beautifully handcrafted good luck charm full of "milagros."

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06.18
2015

Mexican Day of the Dead Themed Weddings

Posted by Anne Damon in Day of the Dead, Fiesta, recent   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

More and more people are really starting to "get" Day of the Dead. It's not a scary time in the Mexican world view, but a time for remembering and honoring people who are important. It is a time to do things to continue the connection that was started in life. If you are even remotely thinking about having a Día de los Muertos themed wedding, now is the time to get your supplies. Day of the Dead is coming up on November 1 and 2, so the folk art is starting to become available at Zinnia Folk Arts.  If you have an idea of something you'd like, you can special order and we'll pick it up on our next trip to Mexico in October, 2014.

Watch for more later from me about the super important holiday of Day of the Dead, but today I want to mention a trend that is becoming more popular: Day of the Dead Themed Weddings.  This lovely photo of the wedding cake with the calacas (skeletons) in the foreground is just one way to use Mexico's Day of the Dead folk arts in your wedding...This wedding photo is from right here.  If you're interested in these exact calacas, they can be found on our website in two sizes, so check these out!

 

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04.24
2015

Mercados or The Mexican Market

Posted by Anne Damon in mexico trips, RECENT   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

"Full of vigor, color and atmosphere, the Mexican market is a very ancient institution dating back to before the Spanish Conquest in 1521. The Spaniards recorded many vivid descriptions including that of Friar Diego Durán. Determined to propagate the Christian faith, he deplored with wry humor the fascination of the market place. 'I think that if I were to say to one of the Indian women who love to wander around the markets, Listen, today is market day in such and such a place. Which will you choose, to go straight to heaven or to go to the market? I suspect she would say, Let me first see the market, and after that I will go to heaven.'"  Chloë Sayer, Crafts of Mexico.

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03.18
2015

Small Judas Figures or Paper Mache Diablitos, 2015

Posted by Anne Damon in Easter, Judas Figures, Paper Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Easter is coming soon which means there will be lots of Judas figures available in the mercados of Mexico.

During Semana Santa or Holy Week, the paper mache artists of Mexico make giant (9-12 feet tall!) paper mache Judas figures that look like these miniature versions. Or they can look like the town villain, the town bad guy or even mayors or shop owners who are not respected by the gente. There will likely be images of the President, this year. He is almost universally hated in Mexico.

On the night before Easter Sunday, they are loaded with fireworks, hung above the street and then exploded with everyone in the neighborhood/town/pueblo/vicinity watching. It's their way of getting rid of the Judas figures in life...

Many people think they are devils because they have horns, but, technically, they are called Judas figures. The horns just add an extra level of impishness to them. These smaller versions (anywhere from 17"-20" tall) are also made of paper mache, come from Mexico City and inspire lots of questions and big smiles. 

Click on the photos to purchase.  If you get the message, "not found" that means they've been sold.

Judas Figure

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03.18
2015

Textile Making in Mexico by Cristina Potters of "Mexico Cooks"

Posted by Anne Damon in Chiapas, Mexican textiles, Oaxaca   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

This article was written by Cristina Potters and she's graciously allowed me to reprint here! Follow Cristina's delightful blog about Mexican cooking and Mexican life right here: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

Textile Making in Mexico: An Overview of Tradition

Paracho Contando Hilos 
This weaver, using a back strap loom, creates a patterned fabric by counting threads.

Twenty to thirty thousand years ago, early humans developed the first string, made with handfuls of plant fibers: they discovered that preparing thin bundles of plant material and stretching them out while twisting them together produced a fine thread. The ability to produce string and thread was the starting place for the development of spinning, weaving, and sewing. All three of those indigenous textile making traditions are still strong in today's Mexico.

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02.27
2015

February Trip to Chiapas, Mexico 2015

Posted by Anne Damon in Chiapas, Mexican textiles, Mexico Trips   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

This is the second year in a row I've traveled to the state of Chiapas in February to purchase textiles and folk art. It's cold in Chiapas, Mexico in February and this year was the same! I wore all of my layers almost all day everyday. I was so glad to see that the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas is emerging from the terrible recession of the last few years. It was more vibrant than ever--lots of visitors, lots of hippies, lots of Europeans, lots of new restaurants, hotels and a vibrant street life. Last year a lot of work was being done on the streets, this year, it was the facades of the buildings--scraping, cleaning, whitewashing on almost every street.

Chiapas/Zinnia Folk Arts

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02.24
2015

Coconut Masks from Mexico

Posted by Anne Damon in Masks   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Coconut Masks from Mexico

These whimsical masks are handmade in Guerrero, Mexico from coconuts! Yes, the coconut is cut in half, hollowed out, various organic materials like seed pods, cones, and fibers are attached. Then the whole thing is painted in bright glossy colors. How about one of these joyful faces for your wall?

I've been collecting these for a long time and our bathroom has several grouped together in a smiling chorus.

We have changing collection of coco masks--click here for our current availability.

Enjoy!

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