Returning from a trip to Yucatán with a handcrafted souvenir is a must. Yucatecos also love to decorate their homes with crafts, give them as gifts, and even incorporate handmade clothing, accessories, and jewelry into their closets. Keep reading for a couple of recommendations that will help you when making your purchase.
Filigree is more than a goldsmithing technique to make jewelry, rosaries, and figures: it’s an art. Each piece of filigree is handmade through a process of molding either silver or gold. A filigree piece should not look rough, much less omit the texture of the top edges. The usual price of earrings and rings is between $450 pesos and $2,000 pesos, but they can be sold for up to $8,000 pesos.
Find your filigree piece at Casa de las Artesanías, Taller Maya, or Amandina.
Traditionally they are made with opaque cotton threads that give them their characteristic freshness. It’s important to be very careful with the thickness of the strand and the weaving, since the thicker the cotton and the tighter the weaving, the stronger the hammock will be. A traditional cotton hammock can cost between $800 and $3,000 pesos in stores, depending on the size. Crochet hammocks are more expensive since they’re softer and have thicker threads; they can cost anywhere between $2,500 and $4,000 pesos. You’ll also find nylon hammocks; these have a characteristic sheen and should not exceed $1,000 pesos.
Some stores where you can buy them: Cielo Hamacas and Casa de las Artesanías. You’ll also find stores in Tixkokob.
The Jipi palm is worked with special care throughout an intricate process that defines the final quality of the hat. To begin with, the palm must be dehydrated, split, and woven in humid environments, such as caves; a good jipijapa hat is made with palms that have been split more than twice. The best are made from four “partidas.” The cheapest jipijapa hats cost $500 pesos (one Partida, direct with artisans), but hats with four Partidas can go up to $5,500 pesos.
You can find them at Paloma van den Akker and Taller Maya, or in the communities of Halachó or Bécal.
When it comes to embroidered garments, the most famous is the Xocbilchuy, cross-stitch or “counted thread,” which on the reverse side looks like dots, lines, and knots. Depending on the complexity of the embroidery, a garment can take from a couple of weeks to two months. A cross-stitch blouse can cost between $1,200 and $2,000 pesos.
However, it’s more common to find machine-made garments in Chuy K’ab or satin stitch; blouses start at $360 pesos directly with the artisan.
You can find a wide variety at Kukul Boutik, Casa de las Artesanías, Kimbilá, and Maní.
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.
Photography by Amandina, Taller del Mundo Maya, Violeta H. Cantarell, and Olivia Camarena for its use in Yucatán Today.
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