Culture of Oaxaca

Prolific cradle of Mexican art and culture, Oaxaca represents a paradise where forms, colors and flavors of Pre-Hispanic Mexico blend with modernity in every aspect and feature of daily life. The lovely jugs made of black mud, multicolored textiles made by its weavers and exotic artifacts are just a few examples of the variety found in local craftsmanship. The magical conception of the world of Mexican ancestors along with the legacy left by catholic missions throughout the XVI century gave rise in Oaxaca to one of the most acclaimed spectacles in Mexico and around the world, the Guelaguetza,
where typical indigenous clothing and thousand-years old folk dances reproduce the customs, traditions as well as the cosmogony of the Mexican communities from all over the region. Currently one of the most catholic states in the nation, Oaxaca celebrates and honors saints and conceptions of Virgin Mary with special rejoice and passion, among them the festivities for the miraculous Virgin of Juquila, the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe, the Soledad Virgin, the Holly Christ of Tlacolula and of course Easter, just to name the largest of them.

The state's cuisine is famous around the globe for the complexity found in many of its typical platters, and for the selection of ingredients used for the preparation of the various mole sauces, the thick maize tortillas known as memelas, and the local tamales. The mole sauces for instance, vary according to the type of chili chosen for its preparation together with some 20 additional ingredients which make this one of the most exquisite delicacies offered by Mexican gastronomy. Not forgetting the rather exotic ingredients included in plenty of dishes found in high cuisine venues and gourmet restaurants all over the state and in fact the nation, such as ants and other insects like the reddish one known as the "Chapulin Colorado". And last but not least,
the Oaxaca tamale wrapped with plantain leafs, the original dishes heavy on tomato called entomatadas, and the black bean of Oaxaca.

The traditional local beverage happens to be the famous Mezcal, the "drink of the gods" , which can nowadays be savored with the characteristic touch that comes from nothing less than a fried worm found within the maguey's roots, or also in another presentation known as Mezcal cream, with different flavors to choose from like pineapple, coconut, almond or coffee, among many other options.

The fertile land found throughout the state of Oaxaca has been home to many artists and celebrities of Mexican history, among them Rufino Tamayo, famous mural painter and regarded around the world as one of the greatest Mexican artists; Alfredo Canseco Feraud, regional folk painter; painters Luis Zarate and Rodolfo Nieto; and of course major players of Mexican politics, don Benito Juarez and general Porfirio Diaz.

 

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