Just like the CIRCUS promoting itself as the BIGGEST SHOW on EARTH, Uruapan likes to bill itself as the biggest artisan show in Mexico! Held every Palm Sunday Weekand and lasting over two weeks, it appears to me to be the most colorful, diversified show I’ve been to. Since I’m primarily interested in what people are wearing and the textiles they are making, the Uruapan show never disappoints. Four distinctive indigenous groups are the participating artisans from all corners of the State of Michoacan, so you have the opportunity to see the best traditional Otomi, Mazahua, Purepeche and Nahua costumes – and you’ll also see their wonderful handcrafts in the form of pottery, baskets, toys, rebozos, embroidered blouses, copper vessels, musical instruments, etc etc.
The show starts off with an Artisans Parade and you can see this on my YouTube slide show called Uruapan Artisans Fair – click here if you want to get a 3 minute impression of the event with lively music. These artisans wear their regional costumes and represent their particular craft in some way while parading.
Another part of the Feria is the Concurso ‘BEST of Show ‘Artisania. It is held in the Fabrica San Pedro, an old textile mill, a few blocks south of the Central Square where the main Feria is and it’s definitely worth visiting. There you will see the artisans presenting what they consider their best work for the chance to win a prize. It’s the best shopping experience and luckily this year it was open on Saturday as the prizes had already been awarded.
Now my particular TEXTILE REASONS for going to this show: 1) Magnificent costumes- all day and in the streets- on the women, everyone wears their ‘very best’ to this event.2) ‘Textile Pavillon’ in the main exhibit plaza of the Fair. Here you will see all the best embroidery and deshilada (pulled thread) work. 3) ‘Textile Court’ in the courtyard of the La Huatapera building (across from the main square) where…4) the Indigenous Costume Show happens around 1pm Saturday. This is the best of the regions ceremonial and daily costumes worn by the different ethnic groups of Michoacan. Darling young children are also part of this. Photo opportunities!!!! 5) Concourse BEST of Show-Competition in the Fabrica de San Pedro, where you will have a chance to purchase what the artisans consider their best work.
BEST Textiles: Gauze-like, superfino rebozos from Aranza; Deshilados de San Felipe de los Herreros (super-fine white pulled thread embroidery); Embroidered blouses from the region (many many beautiful designs)…beautiful heavier cotton rebozos (Purepeche).
The whole event is a Textile Junkies Wonderland – and all you need is about two full days to see and do everything – Palm Sunday Weekend, Saturday and Sunday events are the best. There is also a ‘Indigenous Food Court’ with specialties of the region on the Palm Sunday weekend and music concerts such as the ‘Sones’ of Michoacan by the famous traditional group ‘Erandi’ . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!