|Papel picado on display at factory|
|Herzonia (Left) and Eire|
|Quite a menagerie here|
Eire and Enrique were talking to people about the venue and other wedding-related activities in one section of Xochimilco, as the ceremony will take place on a trajinera surrounded by about a dozen others transporting the guests, and the entire wedding will take place within the ecological park section of Xochimilco. So Herzonia and I wandered around one of the nursery sections till Eire was done and ready to join us.
|I do like colour and movement|
|Lana: for prosperity|
One little cultural oddity I couldn't resist was this jade plant with coins stuck on some of its leaves, in a sheep planter. Sheep have wool, lana in Spanish, and lana also means money in Mexican slang. The jade plant stands for prosperity, adding the sheep means more lana, and the coins speak for themselves! Several years ago as part of a Xmas gift from Maguie we got a very cute little sheep, so I already knew what lana stood for, but this little object took it to a whole new level.
Another plant that caught my eye is this striking one, with red and white flowers against its green foliage. I immediately thought of the Mexican national colours, which like Mexico's flag are red, white and green - and Herzonia informs me that this plant is called bandera - Spanish for flag.
|Red, white and green|
You have no idea how many hours I put in trying to get my photos and a video up on Flickr. Last year I got my Lake Tahoe pictures up easily, as I recall, but this time I had many attempts which ended up in duplicate copies on my hard disk and none on Flickr, hence had to spend a lot of time deleting spurious copies, and on a fourth attempt, after downloading a new copy of the software, I got some photos over - but there are multiple copies of several. And before I completed the upload, I went through deleting all the duplicates, I thought - and also deleted two photos I found from Ben and Lissy's wedding in January 2009 which had somehow inserted themselves amidst these from Xochimilco. (maybe if you stay in Mexico long enough, Magic Realism starts happening in your life and photostream?)
Here is the link, I hope:
or else you might need to go to flickr and look up bjoymarsh's photostream and the set called Xochimilco: Nursery and papel picado. The set also includes the video I took at the papel picado factory, which I am also trying to post right here.
It shows the people punching out the patterns from a stack of paper resting on a heavy lead plate, using a template, employing an assortment of different-shaped chisel-like tools. I am sure if they did something like this in China they'd be using a laser cutter of some kind! I wonder if they will all end up with arthritis in their hands from the repetitive shock absorption, and lead poisoning (apparently they recast the lead bases as infrequently as they can get away with - the ones we could see certainly looked very bashed about, but at some point they must need to melt them down and recast them as flat base plates again. This process is pretty toxic, and I am pretty sure bashing holes into lead isn't great for your health at any time either.)
|Cardboard Day of the Dead figures&papier mache skull|
|Papier Mache Bull|
And I will close with a photo of a bush with black chillies, you might need to double click on this to expand on it as they are tiny and get a bit lost in the foliage.
|See the tiny black chillies on the largest plant|