Arts & Crafts

Traditional Oaxaca arts and crafts are extremely varied, and there is something for different tastes. Whether you are searching for a beautiful ornament as a keepsake or a higher-end piece of furniture or artwork, Oaxaca has got all of them for you.


Oaxacans are known as makers of beautiful, intricate jewelry. Stones usually used in Oaxaca jewelry include amber, amethyst, onyx, and turquoise, among others. Markets and craft shops in the city showcase them and offer discounts on some silver or gold pieces.


Oaxaca has a great painting tradition. In fact it is home to some great Mexican painters, including Francisco Toledo, Rodolfo Morales, Francisco Gutierrez, and Rodolfo Nieto. Perhaps the most popular Oaxacan painter is Rufino Tamayo. He is internationally renowned and is considered as one of the greatest modern painters of the 20th century.

Pottery and ceramics

Oaxacans are skillful in making brightly painted pots, cups, vases, and anything makeable on a potter’s wheel. Oaxaca black pottery is the most traditional form. It is made from a dark clay that can only be found in the region. The elegant and unique final product is easily recognizable for its black, smooth surface.


Oaxaca arts and crafts are perhaps best represented by textiles. If you take pleasure in looking at gorgeous hand-woven textiles, then Oaxaca is the ideal place. Textiles are very popular items on the market and you will be spoilt for a wide range of choice. Traditional textiles include woven rugs, table cloths, bags, curtains, and bed spreads. Visit workshops to see how artesans make these colorful and beautiful textiles.


You will find in Oaxaca a lot of wooden crafts that range from games and masks to guitars and toys usually painted in bright colors. Oaxacans traditionally use copal wood (specific to the region) to make Alebrijes. These wood carving figures of mythological animals make great presents. They are, in fact, very common Oaxaca souvenirs.