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Monday, July 13, 2015

Beeswax Candles for Iglesias, Oaxaca

These ceremonial candles that are found throughout the Oaxaca region in churches are made in Teotitlan de Valle but women who specialize in creating the five foot long candles and decorating them with elaborate beeswax flowers.  These traditional candles that are used every life cycle celebration: baptisms, funerals, engagements (contentamientos), and weddings.  They are found not only in churches but also in people's homes.  I don't exactly think that these are beautiful, but they are spectacular.  They also take a tremendous amount of work to produce.
One thing to love about Oaxaca is the wealth of artisanal crafts there.  While there are fewer and fewer women who make these candles, the wealth of things that are still hand made in this region of Mexico is impressive to see, and I think important to recognize.  The urge to make beautiful things is deeply imbedded in our DNA, going back to the beginning of mankind.  As more things are made ever more cheaply in factories around the world, the appreciation of handmade things is lessened and then becomes undervalued.  So in the interest of supporting artisans, both appreciate their work and bring home things that speak to you.

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