Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tchotchke Heaven

Is it tchotke or is it chotchke or is it chochki?

Tshotshke, tshatshke, tchatchke, chachke, or chochke?

There's even a Spanish word
"Cachivache" that means and
sounds remarkably like "tchotchke."

No matter. However it is spelled it was at the Uruapan craft market this weekend. For the second year in a row we drove 150 miles (a lovely drive, by the way) to Uruapan, an otherwise undistinguished city of about 200,000. Once a year it is host to a two week event, where thousands of craftspeople from surrounding towns in the state of Michoacan (like Michigan, means "land of many lakes") bring their craft items to market. The main market is held in a giant tent about three blocks long. In addition, there are other venues where various items are exhibited, and where events, such as an indigenous clothing show, and a mini-food festival, are held.

We did just about everything in two days, starting with our mid-day arrival on Saturday. First we made a whirlwind tour of the market, with only minor purchases. Just a warm up, so to speak.

Later we attended a show of indigenous folk costumes (trajes), modeled by lovely young women, presumably from the city's most prominent families. The clothing was lavish, especially considering that it was primarily worn by peasants. They also did some folk dances while walking down the runway.

Make sure you play the two video clips above and below!

On to dinner at a lovely hotel, Mansion del Cupatizio (name of river where hotel is located). Speciality was "trucha" - trout - presumably from the river. Let's hope the delicious flavor wasn't due to toxic waste!

After dinner, a walk through the displays again. We didn't buy too much. Fatigue was setting in.

On Sunday we woke to another beautiful day. At 10:30 the Concurso opened to the public. These were the prizewinners! We scooped up three lovely pots - one copper and silver, two clay. The place was mobbed - one day only. It was held in an old fabric factory...a big beautiful open space

Shopping sure works up an appetite! On to the food fair! Linda and Alice got some new recipes!

They watched a woman make two tone gorditas - Mexican pita pockets filled with cheese, vegetables or meat. We also ran into some picturesque street musicians, playing terrific music!

One of the treasures we purchased was a clay roast chicken store.

Before leaving town we went to a small park with lovely waterfalls and lots of food and souvenir vendors. Below are Alice and Max Neufeld.

Here's Linda trying on a dress. How will this play back in Detroit?

Perhaps this sign is more effective than "Keep off the grass" or "Do not pick flowers".


1 comment:

Steven Tapper said...

Carlos, wow what an adventure you had, i am not sure what i would want to do first, eat or shop. One of the qualities that Patti and I enjoy most regarding you and LInda is the spirit of discovery that you have. We can not wait until we can come back to San Miguel and have more great times with both of you. I'll be back for more later. Estaban Tapper