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Oaxaca Shopping

Oaxaca is one of the best places in Mexico to shop. Almost every street corner someone is offering either food or some type of art. When shopping in Oaxaca do not be afraid to haggle. Haggling is understood and this is how you can get the best price on most items. Oaxaca is full of local artist and craftsmen that make their living by selling there art at local markets or right out of there house. If you are not sure of the best places to shop in Oaxaca ask you hotel or any taxi driver. Most of the shopping in Oaxaca is located within walking distance or within a few miles from downtown Oaxaca. True shoppers will venture out into the city to find the best deals. Understand that the most popular areas see the most tourist, hence they charge the highest prices. Below is a list of the most popular shopping areas in Oaxaca

Black ClaySan Bartolo Coyotepec
Located 6 miles from Oaxaca City, this shopping area became famous for its black clay pottery. Black Clay, or "Barro Negro" is a traditional technique used in Oaxaca, Mexico for the production of pottery. Each pot or dish is hand-turned on inverted plates, dried in the sun and burnished with a stone or shard. The characteristic engravings and cutouts are carved at this stage. Next, the piece is fired in a smoky, low-oxygen kiln that imparts the distinctive black color to the naturally reddish clay. If you visit this area stop by Dona Rosa Nieto, who is said to have invented this pottery technique. At Dona Rosa you can see the complete process of how black clay pottery is made and you can purchase the pieces.

AlebrijesArrazola and San Martin Tilcajete
These areas is where you can shop and purchase Alebrijes. Located 5 miles from Oaxaca City on the road to Zaachila. The homes in this area display there art in there windows, which can be purchased. Alebrijes are a Mexican folk art form popularized by Pedro Linares that take the form of small figurines of mythical creatures. Linares is said to have created the art form while hallucinating during a bout of a gastric ulcer. Enchanted by the visions, Linares attempted to recreate what he saw with Papier mâché reproductions, which were later hand-painted. True alebrije figures are all unique

Teotitlan Del ValleTeotitlan Del Valle
This is the area to visit to see handmade wool rugs, textiles and serapes. Almost every home in there area has a domestic hand loom in it. Here you can also see the artisans at work dying the wool with natural dyes made from indigo. Teotitlan Del Valle is also the oldest village in the Valley of Oaxaca, it is located 16 miles from Oaxaca City. Rugs and other items can be purchased here.

OcotlanOcotlan de Morelos
This is one of the best places to purchase green pottery made by local artisans. On fridays, Ocotlan is home to the largest market in the region. This entire area is like a giant outdoor shopping mall. This is shopping in Oaxaca at its best find black pottery, alebrijes, wool rugs, clothes, embroidery, cuttlery such as knives and machetes find regional flowers and candles and all other tupes of crafts. On this trip be sure to stop by the home and workshop of Josefina Aguilar, and see their amazing pottery.

Casa de Las ArtesaniasCasa de Las Artesanias
Mercado de Artesanias is a collective of around 80 family workshops from all over Oaxaca. There are several different stales for different items such as pottery, clothing, jewelry, knives, woven goods, and more. The prices are very affordable; they're not significantly higher than the street vendors, and maybe even cheaper if you don't bargain well. Also, the quality and variety are great. Everything is 100% handmade, and you can be assured the profits are going to the makers and not mostly to intermediaries. It is hard to locate so many shoppers might miss it. Just remember there are really good deals to be had here

 

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