Mexico is famous for its rich, diverse tapestry of traditional trades. These artisanal crafts have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries, and have long formed the backbone of the Mexican economy.
What surprises many people, however, is just how diverse the different regions of Mexico are when it comes to the goods that they produce, which is precisely what inspired us to create this infographic. While some of the trades, such a pottery, are common across the entire country, the exact nature of the style and techniques used often varies wildly. It’s for this reason that Mexico as a country has cultivated a reputation for being such a colourful and exciting nation, and also deserves some credit for the recent boom in tourism to the country across the last few decades.
Here at Mayalma, we’ve long been inspired by the traditional crafts of Mexico. From pottery to glassware, (using the classic technique of mouth blowing rather than a mass produced manufacturing process) to pewter and even furniture in the form of our Acapulco chairs, we’re passionate about bringing authentic Mexican products, made by the very artisans who know their trade better than anyone else.
1. North West
Best known as a tourist destination and film location beloved by directors of movie classics such as Titanic and Quantum of Solace, the North West region of Mexico does still produce some traditional goods. The city of Cabo has a thriving glassblowing industry, where thousands go every year to watch glass being blown and buy souvenirs from the factories.
The states of Jalisco and Michoacán have a history of producing ceramics that stretches far back into the mists of time – long before the Conquest. This pottery typically served a more utilitarian than decorative purpose and since then, the region has developed a number of signature styles including Petatillo, notable for its red hue, and the burnished bruñido type.
Thanks to the number of highly productive silver mines in the region, the Southwest of Mexico has long had a thriving silversmith community who used the precious metal for countless purposes, including jewellery. Elsewhere on the coast, the popular tourist destination of Acapulco gave its name to a distinctive, laid-back style of open backed chair.
4. South East
The densely forested South East of Mexico has long relied on the natural riches of its rainforest, and this is reflected in the region’s traditional involvement in logging, particularly with red cedars and mahogany, and woodworking.
The state of Puebla is known for its distinctive Talavera pottery, popular thanks to the high-quality clay found in the region and distinguished from other Mexican ceramics thanks to its white glaze. Because of the high degree of difficulty of creating Talavera and its propensity to break, Puebla’s staple pottery is some of the most sought-after in Mexico.
6. North East
The Northeast of the country plays host to a particularly extreme climate, with rainfall in the state of Nuevo Leon only reaching 66mm per year! It is partly due to these harsh temperatures that the region has numerous rich marble mines.
If this has inspired you to give your home a bit of a Mexican-themed makeover, why not browse the Mayalma shop today for elegant yet affordable products sourced from the artisans who know how to make them best.