Oaxaca: A Folk Art Paradise

Adapted from Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families, Schiffer Books, 2007 Arden Aibel Rothstein & Anya Leah Rothstein, Authors

A trip to Oaxaca in southeastern Mexico is an experience you will never forget! Its people are warm and welcoming, its climate temperate, its cuisine stupendous, its outstanding colonial architecture designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its archaeological treasures fascinating, its eco-tourism possibilities endless, and its contemporary arts scene flourishing. For us, best of all is the region’s folk art.

Oaxaca is truly a folk art paradise. Visitors will find the most extraordinary spectrum of crafts in all of Mexico – many within a small geographical radius and at remarkably reasonable prices.

Ten classes of folk art produced in Oaxaca City, capital of the state of Oaxaca, and its immediately surrounding pueblos are featured.

Most pueblos specialize in one type of craft. Several pueblos produce the same class of craft, although in distinct materials and styles. Note: the many additional treasures to be found in Oaxaca State – outside of the geographic radius most often visited by tourists – are beyond the scope of this website.

Also see Visit Artists in their Home Studios and Oaxacan Folk Art-at-a-Glance for geographical listings – pueblo by pueblo, with addresses of individual artists – to help you plan a folk art-focused itinerary.

Enjoy exploring and refining your own personal tastes. We offer a sampler – by no means comprehensive – of excellent artists. You will undoubtedly discover others. Do not feel obligated to purchase work from all those you visit, although be forewarned; you will feel sorely tempted. Rarely have we heard people lament what they did purchase, but instead what they left behind.

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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent upcoming programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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