The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

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For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The colors of time

While visiting the home of Porfirio Gutierrez, his sister, Juana Gutierrez Contreras, showed us her metates that she used for grinding indigo and cochineal, the vivid blue and red used by the weavers in Teotitlan del Valle. 
Those are lumps of indigo in the bowl off to the left.
 Look at that color!
I have seen this many times, but never have I seen such well-worn stones.  Here, she uses the indigo one that she said she got from her mother-in-law and that it was over fifty years old.  The other, for the cochineal, came from her grandmother and was over eighty years old.  You can see how beautifully worn and shaped they are by all those years.
Those manos started out as conical cylinders and now they have those nice handles worn in on either end.  It took a lot of hard physical work over the years to get them that way.  Here is a random shot of someone trying out a new one in the market in Tlacolula
Metates and manos, the base and the roller, are common wedding gifts and can be found in almost every home, at least in Teotitlan.  They are used for grinding not only things for making dyes, but also for corn, chocolate, spices, chiles... but not the same ones as for the dyes.

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