Friday, June 12, 2009
Paper Mache Pirate Skeletons from Patzcuaro, Mexico
This pirate guy on your left is a recent creation of one of our favorite artisans in Mexico who makes calaca or skeleton figures-- Jose Andres Chavez of Patzcuaro, Michoacán. He makes chefs, punk rockers, doctors, all kinds of sports figures (basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, and football), brides and grooms, and of course beautiful Catrinas.
He is the guy who made the amazing life-size figures (like the one on the right) that are the prominent decoration at the peña Colibri, the great folk music club in Morelia's Centro Historico. There you can hear quality musicians perform Cuban and Mexican music every night of the week, and see a fine performance of Michoacán's Dance of the Viejitos (dance of the little old men) around midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
But that's not my point here. This creative artist, Señor Chavez, is always trying out new ideas. So he made the pirate last year when Pirates of the Caribbean starring Johnny Depp was so popular, but then right after that, we had some real modern day pirates who started to commit some horrible violent acts...so pirates didn't look all that much fun anymore. But now I find out that there's an annual Pirate Festival that takes place in June, right here in the S.F. Bay Area, about a half hour from where I live! Thousands of people go every year, and appear to be nuts for all things pirate. I assume that most of them believe that "the only good pirate is a dead pirate". Well, the guy above...is definitely dead. Should be a popular item for these folks' Day of the Dead celebrations, don't you think?
Mr. Chavez also made us some San Francisco Giants figures, player #25 to be exact. Barry Bonds skeleton figures--plus a lot more--are also available at www.mexicobyhand.com.