Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Travel theme: Symbol

Ancient Symbols

Zapotec/Mixtec Symbols

The Zapotec people (in combination with Mixtec groups) adorned their structures with these symbols, which are quite different from those found in other ruins of the area. The archaeological site is located in the town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico.


Zapotec symbols decorate the alebrijes

The symbols are repeated on the whimsical hand carved and intricately painted alebrijes that are created in the villages of Arrazola and San Martín Tilcajete. A workshop that I visited in Arrazola provided a Zapotec explanation of the symbols with the purchase of their stunning artwork.

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8 thoughts on “Travel theme: Symbol

  1. Awesome post! Brought back memories of the time I did my diploma in archaeology. Very intricate and elaborate artwork for sure. Lucky you to have visited a workshop. =)

    • Thank you for the kind comment. The indigenous people in this part of Mexico are outstanding artisans in many areas, though pottery, carving, textiles, and making mezcal are their specialties. They welcome people into their workshops and are happy to show you what they are doing. The best way to know where these places are is with local guides, who have a wealth of information and love to share.
      These alebrijes are wonderfully crazy, and I will be going to another workshop in a couple of weeks when we have visitors. I’ll do a whole blog about them then.

  2. Wow! I love especially the second photo.

  3. Wow! I hadn’t thought so plainly about the similarities of Mexican architectural decoration and painted arts… your post makes it clear. Thanks for connecting some of the dots for me.

  4. Alex Hurst on said:

    Gorgeous! So happy to be able to see your photography again! Have a happy holiday!

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