Hand-woven Natural Small Ocoshal Basket with Handle


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Donaciano & Crescencio from Zitacuaro

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Zitácuaro is a city located in the state of Michoacán and where Otomi and Mazahua communities are based in. The word “Mazahua” comes from the Nahuatl “people of deer”. The roots of the Mazahua culture come from the racial and cultural combination of the Toltec - chichimeca settlements. Zitácuaro is also a sanctuary for Monarch butterflies, where they love for six months (from October to March), to regain their energy, grow up, mate, reproduce and return to their place of origin. This handicraft is made of Ocoxal “Leaf that becomes a handicraft” and it comes from the holdings of Donanciano Ojeda and Crecencio Morales, located in Zitácuaro. This leaf is obtained from the Ocote or Pine of Michoacan, which loses its leaves due the wind from December to June, the Mazahua children collect them as a gift from the nature, and they take them to their homes where with patience and ingenuity the mazahuas of this region work with them creating handicrafts of a unique and special smell. Each piece made of Ocoxal becomes a unique work, and the sliding of the strings through the leaves tells us about the skills the artisans have. The pieces are not varnished, which allow them to keep that so characteristic woodland fragrance that seizes any room. This Ocoxal handmade basket belongs to this particular handicraft. Measurements: 7.08”x7.48”x9.05”.

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Donaciano & Crescencio from Zitacuaro

Through Vision Fund Mexico, Alegreea.com was able to meet Fundación Realidad A.C, which promotes economic development in different indigenous communities in Mexico through micro-loans and training. Most of these artisans are far away from cities where they can sell their products, so Fundación Realidad A.C. has helped them by developiing strategic alliances to allow them to reach other markets. These Ocoshal products were handmade in a community located in Zitácuaro, Michoacán. Donaciano Ojeda and Crescencio Morales are part of a Mazahua indigenous community. For years, they have been using the dry leaf of the ocote tree to make baskets and other decorative items. The benefit the manufacture of these handicrafts has brought to them is a deep appreciation and care for their forests.