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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 is a Mexican Milagro?

Posted by Anne Damon in charms, milagros   /   2 COMMENTS

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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06.19
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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04.02
2015

What Are Mexican Milagros?

Posted by Anne Damon in charms, Milagros, Religious Folk Art   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Mexican milagros

Mexican milagros

Milagros ("milagro" means "miracle" in Spanish) are religious charms that are prevalent throughout Mexico and are traditionally used to request a "miracle" or thank the deities for miracles that have already happened. One can find milagros depicting legs, arms, breast, eyes, cows, pigs, hearts, lungs--just about anything that one would need help with or for which one may have received help.  Mexicans purchase milagros that are meaningful to them, attach them to altars, shrines, and sacred objects found in places of worship, and pray for help with illnesses, relationships, animals or just about everything. Remember 99% of Mexico is Catholic. Milagros can be purchased in churches or from street vendors outside of the church.

Milagros come in lots of shapes and sizes and are made from many different materials. They might be made of gold, silver, tin, lead, wood, or even wax. One of the most common shapes is the heart, like the one in the second photo. These particular milagros are made of pot metal and are lovely and quite large (approximately 4" tall). Smaller lead milagros have been used by an artisan to decorate the wooden hearts shown in the top photograph. Every wooden heart contains a different assortment of milagros.

 

07.25
2013

What do Sacred Hearts Mean In Mexican Folk Art?

Alpaca Sacred Heart, Mexican Folk Art

The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The idea is that the physical heart of Jesus is a symbol of his divine love for humanity. The Mexican folk art sacred heart comes in various forms--with flames around it, with a crown, with a dagger through the center and sometimes with a crown of thorns--and all represent the same thing, Jesus' compassion for humanity. In some Christian paintings it is depicted as a flaming heart shining

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07.18
2013

What do Hands Mean in Mexican Folk Art?

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked in the shop is, "What is the significance of the hand in Mexico?" Hand motifs do appear in many pieces of jewelry and religious iconography from Mexico and though there is no absolute answer to the question, here are a few ideas. One of the most obvious answers is that the hand is so important to all of us in terms of making things (hand-made), performing, communicating, praying (especially when 90% of the country is Catholic) and in making us human. This is just as true in Mexico as it is in other places.  The heart in the hand (another common image in Mexico) is a traditional folk art motif, associated with the Shakers, the Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It is widely considered to symbolize charity, or to mean something is "from the heart". Others consider it to represent friendship, love and truth. The hand motif in Mexican jewelry probably increased after Pablo Picasso's gift of the silver hand-shaped earrings to Frida Kahlo in the 1930's or 40's. She painted herself in them and many nicho boxes and retablos created around Frida's image contain those famous paintings. Some Mexican artisans make beautiful hand-shaped earrings. Here are a few pieces that can give you an idea...

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts

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01.28
2012

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day with Mexican Milagros

Posted by Anne Damon in charms, Milagros   /   1 COMMENTS

Metal milagros on wooden hearts

These lovely wooden hearts are covered in small metal charms known as milagros. Milagro means “miracle” and these tiny religious charms  depict legs, arms, hearts, breasts, ears, animals, people praying (just about anything really!) and are generally used to thank or request religious help for a specific problem. When they are not being used by an artisan, they are pinned on the clothing of a saint in Mexican churches or are attached to ribbons to be hung on a church or home altar. The milagros can be made of brass, pewter, pot metal, tin, and even silver. They are especially prevalent in Mexico and Peru but are also seen in Europe and can be known as "ex-votos."

You can find them right here.

 

01.11
2012

Religious Mexican Folk Art

Handcarved saints from Guatemala

Because over 90% of  Mexico is Catholic, one finds lots of charming and beautiful hand-made religious folk art all over the country. The saints, above, are from Guatemala, another very Catholic country. Religion is a part of every day life in Mexico, from the home altar to crossing oneself in front of every church, to the pinning of milagros, to the omnipresent image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Catholicism is not native to Mexico--the Spanish brought it with them in the 1500's. In indigenous towns and villages one still finds religious practices that harken back to the days before the conquest.  

Click here for our current collection of religious folk art.

 

Mexican Clay nativity set
Decorated religious bottlesWooden saint of Virgen de Guadalupe
Wooden carved heart covered in milagros or charmsGerardo Ortega Nativity Set