Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exploring Cocucho and meeting the artisans

Still day five of my Artisan & Architecture tour and we have already covered a lot of ground and it wasn't even time for lunch.  The artisans were awaiting our arrival.  Mother and daughter demonstrated on how the cocochas (pots) are made by using the coil method from clay found in the nearby mountains that were once active volcanoes.
The pots are dried inside and then carefully carried out into the sun for further drying.  Another use for that grand rebozo.
Once the pots have sufficiently dried and the face of the pot varnished with a corn cob, wood is placed over the pot in a big heap and then set on fire.
It was truly special to see the cocucha being made from the start.

Many of the ladies were fascinated on the how the women carry their children on their backs with their rebozos.  One of the artisans was more than happy to give us a demonstration.  Somehow, I don't think I would dream of carrying a child that way.  I think I would keep hearing a big thud and then a lot of crying.
There was a frenzy of everyone buying a cocucha.  The different colored yarns wrapped around the neck of the cocucha identified who had made the pot and who we were to pay.  Cochuco is also known for their embroidered blouses and aprons.  The cross stich embroidery is done on a white cotton blouse called a guanengo.  It can take up to three to four months to make a guanengo.  Nancy bought two aprons for her granddaughters and Chica Cindy bought a beautiful blouse with her favorite color in it, purple.
Here sits the matriarch of the family with her granddaughter in her lap.  What gracious people to have invited us into their home and into their lives.  I am fortunate to have a large cochuca that stands about four feet tall in my home in Denver and in San Miguel de Allende.  I can hardly wait to go back.

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