An excellent way to learn about the talented hands of Yucatán is through the handicrafts that the people produce in the municipalities. Whether using stone, wood, leather, henequén, palm, gold, or thread, the artisans create works and decorative articles like shoes, bags, guayaberas, hammocks, hats, mats, jewelry, and many other things. Get to know Yucatán through the artistic vocations of some of the smaller towns.

TEXTILES

  • Kimbilá. 50 kilometers from Mérida, this pueblo is well-known for its blouses, shirts, and guayaberas with traditional Yucatecan embroidery.
  • Tekit. The star product of this town is the guayabera. You can browse a great variety of designs or make a personalized order.
  • Teabo. The women who embroider here stand out, because of their laborious dedication to the traditional products, above all the beautiful Maya dress “terno” or “hipil.”

PALM

  • Halachó. Known for the handicrafts made with palm, including beautiful baskets and finely woven hats, made with the material “jipijapa.”

COCOYOL (PALM TREE NUTS)

  • Izamal. You’ll find beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or precious rosaries, made from cocoyol combined with henequén spines.

FOOTWEAR

  • Hunucmá. Home to the largest site of leather footwear production on the peninsula, mainly men’s shoes. You can also purchase belts, bags, and equipment for horses, as well as women’s shoes.
  • Ticul. Famous for its pottery production as well as women’s footwear, Ticul is a reference for artisan production throughout the peninsula.

HAMMOCKS

  • Tixkokob. Here, they make different types of hammocks of every color and design. You can even order the hammock of your dreams.
  • Chumayel. If you’ve ever rested in a hammock, you know that it is one of the most important elements in a Yucatecan home. In this pueblo, you’ll find hammocks made of cotton and nylon, decorative styles, as well as hammock chairs and accessories.

HENEQUÉN

  • Xocchel. Here, artisans dominate the field of henequén, creating everything from baskets, tablecloths, rugs, coin purses, file folders, and more.

STONE AND WOOD

  • Chemax. With a traditional focus of woodworking, here artisans create musical instruments, home decor, and furniture.
  • Dzityá. Only 15 minutes north of Mérida, Dzityá is a paradise of carved stone and wood, with works which have been made famous by the annual artisan fair held here. From objects for everyday use, to decorations, sculptures, benches, and other unimaginable products, you’ll find all kinds of stone products and others made with “guayacán” wood.
  • Muna. In this southern population, artisans also create wood carvings, such as figures of regional animals including birds, toucans, and mammals.
  • Pisté. Here, you’ll also find a wide range of carvings representing Maya figures, like masks and more.

You can also acquire items in the Casa de las Artesanías in Mérida, the artisan markets in Izamal and Valladolid, as well as in the Centro of most any municipality throughout Yucatán.

Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photos by Juan Manuel Mier y Terán, Julián Urquiza and Ayuntamiento de Mérida for Yucatán Today’s use.