Molding the wax, a Zapotec ritual that accompanies life and death in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca

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In Teotitlán del Valle, an indigenous Zapotec town, candles accompany people in all cycles of life, without fail, in stewardships, weddings and funerals.

Wax candles have a spiritual meaning for the Zapotec culture settled in this town, located 35 minutes from the capital, since for its inhabitants, since the time of the conquest, their light represents the path of life, since a Once it goes out, the same thing happens with existence.

Each candle has a special value, and is placed in a specific place on the altar dedicated to the patron saint and the offering to the souls.

“When a couple joins, during a ritual they will have to light them to illuminate the new stage of life; At birth, the baby receives it as a symbol of light and guidance on the path of life; When he dies, the deceased will have his own to illuminate his transition,” says José Hernández, originally from this town with an artisanal vocation.

The art of chandlery is an activity that comes from her inheritance, it was transmitted to her by her mother, Viviana Alávez Hipólito; Over the years, the new family generation gave the candles an ornamental value.

The process of making candles and tapers is delicate and slow. The craftsman places the wax in a saucepan on a stove so that it remains liquid.

Strips of cotton threads hang from rings, they are the wicks or wicks. The strand receives several “baths” of liquid wax. The thickness of the piece depends on the celebration: for weddings they are wide and decorated with flowers and birds, while the candles for the deceased are austere, with a metallic paper ribbon in the middle; The measurement is variable.

Candles and ornaments are made with hot wax, molded with fingers, then passed through cold water.

The family of artisans works in the patio of their house, set up as a workshop.

The skillful hands of these chandlery masters have led them to create unique pieces. They like to share their experience and talent with national and foreign designers, fine artists and craftsmen.


Dressed in a huipil

Death sought Frausto,

the scythe, ready,

It predicted an unfortunate end for him.


She arrived in Tlaxcala,

There marked the office,

but he never found her,

It turned out to be capital.


Catrina finally found her

“defending” the heritage,

but it came out very clever

He never left his desk.


“You pay the artists,

ordered the secretary,

“and talks with journalists

you will have in an ordinary way.”


“You're even saying goodbye,

but you have finished nothing,

You won't be able to run away,

"You are going to fulfill what was agreed."

Juan Carlos Talavera


Ready to jump

Lucina licked her lips,

always aiming very high,

I wanted the secretary.


They were unionized,

or maybe it was friendly fire;

their interests, curbed,

she had as punishment.


Clinging like few others

He asked Death for help,

pure baroque excuses

put behind his luck.


“You let projects die,

she responded violently,

“And is that how you want my affections?

Oh, friend, realize.”


Lucina was very sad,

You only have to dream,

relegated in a corner

will continue without emerging.

Juan Carlos Talavera

Sergio Ramirez

The year was terrifying

for the nica writer.

His homeland, by mistake,

it no longer means him.


The dictator took away

with viciousness and cruelty

a treasure that he cared for:

your nationality.


But far from giving in,

Don Sergio attacks

and will seek to defend

his homeland of Death.

Virginia Bautista

Rosa Beltran

Grim reaper roams UNAM.

Especially, Culture.

He liked Rosa Beltrán,

to bury him.


After hard work

and a critical vision,

she is invited by Death

to leave this policy.


The change of rectory

brings modifications

and the team with joy

will visit the pantheons.

Virginia Bautista

Ignacio Solares

“There is no such place,”

said Nacho Solares,

but he found that home

behind the altars.


He recreated the dreams,

the sacred dimension,

little ghosts,

but he received the call.


Today he continues writing

in the cemetery,

friendly and smiling

with the same charm.

Virginia Bautista


I have come from the cemetery

taking those who have their turn,

For centuries it has always been,

sadness sometimes this causes.


I am white as snow,

silent upon arrival,

my stay here is brief,

I don't like to bother.


With black and hollow eyes,

very gloomy when walking,

my kiss leaves them dry,

they must forgive the absence.


In many pantheons I have dwelt,

cempasuchil and copal when celebrating,

Oh, little guy, I haven't introduced myself,

La Catrina you can call me.

Karina Tejada

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