Friday, January 9, 2009


Laurie Zuckerman spent two weeks photographing the 2008 Christmas holiday festivals in sunny Oaxaca, the highlight of which is El Noché de los Rabanos. Here are my favorite radish displays from the Night of the Radish Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. I was fascinated by the traditional religious themes carved out of hugh gnarly radishes that begin drying out the minute the artists start carving. These are my picks for the most magical of these spiritual displays, including the birth of Jesus, Oaxaca's patron saint—the Virgen de Soledad, a Mexican funeral, and a nativity scene.

These next photos are the two most complex cornhusk creations, known as Totomoxtle. I was completely amazed by the intricate details in this first creation showing a procession of Jesuses in front of the Catedral. I am hoping that this artist won the contest. I spent hours photographing the man setting up this installation.

My next favorite cornhusk creation is this tableau of Christian themes, including the Crucifixion and the Last Supper.

And this little display of is Jesus on a donkey or a horse, at least I think it is Jesus, was very touching. I never saw anything like these for sale, but I would have bought this one.

Here are my favorites from the strawflower, or immortal flower competition. The first photo shows the Crucifixion. The next three figures are the three most popular Virgins of Oaxaca: the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of Soledad, and the Virgin of Juquila. A little abstract perhaps, but sweet and colorful.


Anonymous said...

oh how you have instantly transported me to my beloved oaxaca.
they say a priest created night of the radishes to help the market workers, nearly a hundred years ago. during the christmas season so many were busy with processions, religious celebrations that kept them from the market, usually a daily ritual. the priest encouraged the fruit and vegetable vendors to create nativity scenes with their produce to attract the people back. over the years it has grown in such popularity it had to be moved to the zocalo!
the radishes too have "grown" over time. raised near the airport by the acre, they are easily 25" longer tasty...but great for carving the amazing and often hilarious scenes.
so so happy you were able to be there! so glad you are sharing with us.


JonesMoore Studio Art, Lisa JonesMoore said...

It must have been truly wonderful to be in Oaxaca over Christmas. How does it compare to Dia de los Muertos? I've often though of going to Mexico for Christmas...

L. JonesMoore

Leau said...

I love the birth scene! Only in Mexico. I love their fine tuned sense of ritual and humor. Can't wait to see the next ones! smooches

Anonymous said...

Laurie, You are they Reyna! the photos are superb...I love the birth of Jesus need to forward this blog to Baldwin and Mindy...but they might be in Ethiopia picking up thier baby, Pearl. they will love these pictures too. You are really doing wonders for the travel/tourist industry of Oaxaca - everyone who sees these images will want to go see them too. Spectacular. kathy

pirate grrl said...