Monday, July 19, 2010

The Women of Cocucho

Last week, I arrived at my home in San Miguel de Allende. I let the dust settle and then I headed over to Patzcuaro and some of the surrounding villages for a few days. Cocucho is one of my favorite towns. These women were on the their way to church in their dark blue and black striped rebozas. Usually you can tell what village most of the ingenious women are from by the embroidery on their blouses and the colors and patterns of their woven rebozos.
Even the youngest ones dress like their mothers.
Cocucho is a small mountain village where Cocuchas (pots) are made from the barro (mud) of the volcanic clay in the area. It is usually made by the Purepecha (or Tarascan) Indian women. You rarely see many men in town for they are in the mountains tending to their fields and cutting firewood or off working in the states. These Cocuchas are used to store corn and rain water. Believe me, it rains a lot. In earlier times, these pots were used for burial. Angelica Rodriguez Acensio is very proud of her Cocuchas and she should be. They are gorgeous.
Most of the homes are the traditional troje. A troje is a four sided cabin made of pine planks with a steep roof, no windows and one door. Being that Cocucho is high up in the wooded mountains, lumber is readily available.

The pots are made by the coil method and only a form is used to shape the lip of the pot. The smooth face of the pot is achieved by varnishing it when the clay is still moist with a corn cob. After the pot has sufficiently dried, the firing process is next. Wood is placed over the pot in a big heap and then set on fire. You know when you are in Cocucho, for there is always smoke in the air!
I shot this little piece of video in Uruapan during the parade of artisans. It is of the float from Cocucho. Click on the right
- Women of Cocucho
The one girl is full of giggles when I shot this photo. All such happy people!
Embroidery is big in this region and this was their day for selling yarn. The 16th century church in the background is one of the beautiful painted churches that is part of the Bishop Don Vasco Route.
I just purchased a large cocucha from this lady and she was more than glad to pose for me. I love the colors and her happy face.
This gentleman was proud to show off his cocucha. It's taller than he was, but then again, he wasn't that tall! Many of the cocuchas vary from less than a foot to seven feet high.

Cocucho and many of the 16th century painted chapels in the area will be part of my Artesans & Architecture tour in February of 2011.
Join me, it will be a trip of a lifetime!

1 comment:

  1. i like that i am from but im live in unate state