Thanks to Travel and Leisure, I was alerted to a new ad campaign by VisitMexico, with the tag line: “Mexico, The Place You Thought You Knew”. They have some terrific videos and produced one per state so of course I checked out Oaxaca’s.
Watching the video, you get a sense why many say “Oaxaca is the most culturally rich place in all of Mexico”, or “Oaxaca is Mexico’s cultural capital”. There are images of Oaxaca city, churches, and the beach of course, but you can also catch a glimpse into the rich indigenous culture that is still alive and thriving across the state. The video shows different Zapotec ruins (Monte Alban and Mitla) but more exciting are the snippets of traditional dances that you get to see. There is also a short bit showing an indigenous religious ceremony. The traditional dress is very interesting as is the Day of the Dead footage.
The video also showcases some of the crafts made in Mexico – specifically they show some pottery making and also ALEBRIJES! If you want to skip straight to the alebrije part you can go to 2:00 and it goes to 2:11 (and the Day of the Dead footage follows on directly after until about 2:25). The alebrije segment shows a beautiful peacock up close so I highly recommend you check it out.
(Note: I thought the beginning was a bit slow but if you stick with it for the first minute or so the end picks up and is really great)