KWABLA has entered into partnerships with Mexican cultural artisans located in the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca, and Puebla. These Mexican artisans are descended from the Náhuat and Zapotec indigenous cultures. To browse KWABLA's catalogue of cultural goods or listing of cultural artisans from Mexico, click on the icons at the bottom of the page.
Mexico has long been the home of many advanced Amerindian civilizations. Mexican documented history mostly begins with the Mayan and Aztec peoples. These ancient cultures reigned throughout the territories today known as Mexico. The Maya are probably the most well known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. The Mayan people originated in the area of the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico around 1500 B.C. and eventually expanded beyond Mexican borders throughout Central America in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize. The Mayan culture rose to its prominence during the years from 250 – 500 A.D., then fell to hundreds of years of tribal struggles until the emergence of the Aztecs.
The Aztecs came into the great valley of central Mexico, the area today surrounding Mexico City, during the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. The Aztecs are known today to have been an especially brutal and warring Amerindian tribe, their crimes included performing human sacrifices and slaughtering their enemies. The Aztecs became the greatest power in Mesoamerica in the 1500s and fought brutal wars with Spanish armies attempting to colonize them. The Spanish arrived under the command of Hernando Cortez in 1519. After two years of war, Cortez eventually, and with the added help of a plague amongst the citizens, captured the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan. Once subduing the Aztec warriors Cortez killed and enslaved thousands of them.
Mexico remained under Spanish rule for three centuries until achieving its independence after the Mexican revolution of 1910. Upon losing the Mexican-American War fought with the U.S. from 1946-1948, Mexico lost much of its northern territories, including today’s California, Arizona, and New Mexico. However, even today, many locales in these American states still retain their Mexican, Spanish, and Amerindian traditions.
Mexico suffered its worst economic recession in over 50 years in 1994 and the Mexican currency, the peso, became worth very little. Subsequent Mexican governments have tried with mixed successes to implement policies to help the country’s economy recover. Although Mexico has made much progress, ongoing economic and social concerns including low wages, unemployment for a large percentage of the population, drug abuse and trafficking, and few opportunities for the large Amerindian population continue to hamper Mexico’s development. Per capita income in Mexico is one-fourth that of the U.S. and income distribution remains highly unequal.
The Mexican presidential elections of 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition party defeated the party in government. The political party that held power in Mexico for over 70 years without being effectively opposed was the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN) was sworn in on December 1st of 2000 as the first Mexican President elected in free and fair elections.
Today, the descents of the Mayan and Aztec cultures, including the Náhuat and Zapotec peoples, makeup Mexico’s Amerindian indigenous populations. These people live throughout Mexico, though mainly in the central and southern areas. Most of these natives work creating by hand and with rudimentary tools amazing works of art. These items can include artistic creations of wood, stone, pottery, weaving, apparel, painting, and jewelry just to name a few of the most common. The indigenous people of Mexico create their arts in order to preserve their culture and heritage as well as a means to provide an income to support themselves and their families.
KWABLA has entered into partnerships with Mexican cultural artisans located in the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca, and Puebla. These Mexican artisans are from the Náhuat and Zapotec indigenous cultures. To browse KWABLA's catalogue of cultural goods or listing of cultural artisans from Mexico, click on the icons below.