Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza Shopping | Where to Shop and What to Buy
Handicrafts are an important part of Mayan culture because they are made using techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. The most important sources of inspiration for the artists are often mystical references and their personal perceptions about the cosmos.
It’s common to find representations of Mayan deities painted on leather, carved out of wood, and engraved in stone. You’ll also find figures made out of jade, obsidian, and amber, all of which were used by the ancient Maya as personal embellishments, currency, and offerings to the gods.
The embroidery of clothing is another way of honoring Mayan beliefs and traditions. Often, the designs are reproductions of the engravings that decorate the main buildings of the archeological sites, but you can also find designs featuring corncobs, snakes, frogs, diamonds and flowers. Each design element has significance and a reason for appearing on the cloth, depending on its use once it has been completed.
Woven hats and baskets, pottery, and hammock making are some of the other characteristic handicrafts inherited from the ancient Mayas.
At the entrance to the archeological site as well as in other areas of the site, you’ll find a modern version of the ancient “tianguis,” or open-air market. Dozens of small stands and shops display beautiful handicrafts made by these mystical artists, who are sometimes inspired by visions that come to them in their dreams.
Piste is the closest town to the archeological site. Located just over a mile from Chichen Itza, this small indigenous town specializes in the business of traditional handicrafts. In addition, the town offers recreational activities and restaurants for visitors to Chichen Itza. It takes less than five minutes to get to Piste from the archeological site, and it’s a great place to find gifts and souvenirs at affordable prices.
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