Tilcajete, Coyotepec and Jalietza

San Martin Tilcajete is an artisan pueblo whose inhabitants dedicate themselves to the craft of carving wooden animals, otherwise known as alebrijes.

For the most part the men in the pueblo carve the ocotlan churchfigurines, while the women and children paint them. It is interesting to note how the religious syncretism of the Zapotecs is expressed through their alebrije designs reflecting at the same time many remnants of pre-Hispanic Zapotec religion mixed with catholic beliefs.

San Bartolo is a Zapotec pueblo, which has specialized in black pottery since the epoch of Monte Albán. In its pre-Hispanic glory, a large portion of San Bartolo’s black pottery was dedicated to the temples and tombs of Monte Albán. With the arrival of the Spaniards, the barro negro adopted a more utilitarian function instead of its previous religious purpose. In San Bartolo it is possible to visit the houses of the artisans who still practice the art of black pottery passed on from their ancestors.

Santo Tomás Jalietza’s inhabitants, especially its women, dedicate themselves to the making of cotton tablecloths and belts woven on a back-strap loom. In the center of town there is a small market where the women sell their merchandise. However, most families are more than happy to open their homes, thus giving you not only the opportunity to view more textiles, but to appreciate the manner of living in Santo Tomás.