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Galeria Indigena Fine Mexican Native Art Puerto Vallarta

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The first time we drove past Galeria Indigena, there was a girl outside dressed as “Catrina”  and I knew we had to stop in! We made the cab drive turn around and drop us off!

When you walk in the door – it’s sensory overload!  Rows of fantastic arts! This place is huge!

The store has an extensive collection from various indigenous cultures of Mexico: dance and ceremonial masks, handcrafted  Oaxacan black clay pottery by Zapotec indians, unique Day of the Dead items in ceramic and paper mache’, sacred  Huichol Indian bead and yarn work, hand-blown glass, Nahua Indian lacquer art from Guerro, religious arts and figures, majoloica pottery from Tlaxcala and talavera ceramic pieces from Pueblo with some 800 designs, Mata Ortiz pottery, as well as extraordinary bark paper etchings by internationally-known Nahua artist Nicolas de Jesus. The collection of items will wow you!

While we were there picking and choosing what we wanted to take back with us, we started talking with the owner,  who has been in business 27 years! He  offered us a beer and gave us a private tour of his growing collection upstairs! (Which is not yet open to the public). I just want to work in this store!

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For the past 27 years Ignacio Jacobo (“call me Nacho”) and his wife, Maria del Camen Najera,  traveled throughout their native Mexico searching for indigenous art which they offer for sale in their 5,000 sq. ft. Galeria Indígena. (Indígena is Spanish for “native” or “indigenous.”

“Nacho’s” inventory comes from some 54 Mexican tribal regions. He says that many of the skills are passed on from generation to generation, with each generation modifying the basic efforts and utilizing new technologies and skills. He is forthcoming in telling the stories behind most of his inventory. I’ll share some of them with you.

ROWS of Catrina’s   at all prices!  I don’t think I have ever seen so much Day of the Dead art in one shop!  You have to allow a good hour  to browse this wonderful treasure trove of art!


 

Sidenote – Some 100 years ago (1913), Mexican artist and cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada created the La Catrina’s calavera, the skeletal skull covered by a broad-brimmed hat decorated with ostrich feathers.

Some say that he was parodying poor Mexicans for putting on upper-class European airs. During the years 1946-47, Diego Rivera created a mural that featured a skeletal La Catrina fully dressed in finery. Rivera depicted himself as a young boy holding La Catrina’s bony right hand while behind him stands Frieda Kahlo with her hand on his shoulder. Posada stands at La Catrina’s left. The mural is now at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera in Mexico City. La Catrina has morphed into Mexico’s symbol of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) signifying Mexican’s belief in the neutrality of death.


 

The Indigena gallery is one of my personal favorites for gifts.  But secretly I want ONE OF EVERYTHING  for  myself!

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Galeria Indigena – Central – 628 Juarez. 

Tel: 223-0800, 222-3007

Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm; Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 11am-3pm.

 

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