When I came back to Mexico City after being gone for almost a year, I was excited to explore what new murals have cropped on the walls in my neighborhood. Now that I have covered almost all of the nearby streets on my regular walkies with my dog, I must say that I’m a bit disappointed. There is hardly anything new around here! Many murals are the same, just older, faded and peeling, or they have been painted over… with an attractive blue or orange. Oh well, at least the wall is not gray! However, there are a couple of nice exceptions:
The NBA in Mexico City
This beautiful mural of can be found on the corner of Cto. Interior José Vasconcelos and Gob. José Maria Tornel, in the Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec. It shows a combined image of a deer, a wolf, and a snake (if my interpretation is correct), reminiscent of the Huitchol-style art. The lettering above and below the image leaves no doubt about the sponsors, although it has no apparent relation to the image whatsoever: the National Basketball Association.
What is the NBA doing in Mexico? Wouldn’t this make the association INTER-national? It’s not like basquetból enjoys a great popularity here, anyway. In fact, it’s American Football that Mexicans are getting into, but that’s another story. But I suppose there are enough fans around, especially if it’s the Orlando Magic playing against the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz respectively, as it was the case last Thursday and Saturday. Don’t ask me about the details (or the final score), as I’m not so much into basketball myself. I only came for the murals. So let’s take a look at the only other new one I found:
Traditional Dresses on a School Wall
These ones can be seen on the outside wall of the elementary school Defensores de la República on Carlos B. Zetina street in the Colonia Condesa. I love these ones because it seems very likely that they were painted by the very talented students of this school. The three pictures on the outside wall feature ladies in traditional Mexican dresses from various parts of the country.
The first two also mention the state the particular style of dress comes from: Tabasco and San Luis Potosí. However, since the state-lines normally cut right across cultures, as do cultural boundaries across states, I should mention the groups these dresses represent.
Chontal, Huastec, and Tehuan Styles
The dress representing Tabasco is of the Chontal Maya, (who call themselves Yokot’an). This beautiful dress is quite popular, and can be seen on many occasions all over Mexico. The second one from San Luis Potosí is the traditional garb of the Huasteca women. Although usually associated with the state of San Luis Potosí, the Huastec's cultural area reaches across into parts of Veracruz, Tamaulipas, and Hidalgo as well. Finally, the third image without a label seems to me like a Tehuana dress from Oaxaca. Representing the Zapotec culture of the isthmus region (where the Pacific is closest to the Gulf of Mexico), the Tehuan society is known for its matriarchal structure, gaining fame when Frida Kahlo adopted the dress style to show solidarity for the women of that region.
Seeing these three amazing examples, I tried to walk around the school, looking for more murals of traditional dresses, but I couldn’t find any. Maybe there are more on the inside wall? We’ll never know. Still, for how little change there was regarding the wall paintings in my area, these three pictures are worth sharing.
If you liked this, check out my developing series on Mexican murals:
- Commercial Murals for Small Businesses
- A Mural for a Movie
- Get to Know Your Local Cacti
- New Images Covering Old Ones
- A Warrior Princess in Mazunte
- A Cartoon with a Public Health Message
- Murals Under Periferico
- Murals of the Barrio in Aguascalientes
- Respected and Less Respected Paintings
- Under Metro Line 4
- ChaliaKiller's – Murals, Chilaquiles, and Lots More
- A Familiar Face
- Political Expression: the Painting is on the Wall
- Different Types of Wall Paintings
- The Beauty of Death and the Struggle of Life
- Winston Churchill and the Bike Movement
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