The production of cutlery and swords is far more than a utilitarian endeavor. It represents a blend of artistry and an appreciation of historical tradition. Techniques date back to the Spanish conquest of Mexico when weapons and knives were important. Today there are several families, primarily in Ocotlán de Morelos (the pueblo also known for its painted red ceramics) and in Oaxaca City, whose outstanding work has been transmitted for many generations. Knives can also be purchased in some folk art shops in Oaxaca City, as well as in many of the markets in Oaxaca and its surrounding pueblos. In addition to swords and machetes, knives for hunting and fishing, kitchen ware and other domestic utensils (letter openers, cake servers and the like) are created. These are attractively, and often elaborately, decorated and protected in tooled leather cases.