Santa Maria Tavehua is a tiny village in the hillsides of southern Mexico.  They are known for their ceramic arts made from an indigenous orange clay.  For centuries, the people of Tavehua made pots and plates, cups and bowls to barter and trade among themselves.  In the modern economy, their work shifted to decorative pieces, specifically these little bunnies playing instruments.  In recent decades, their ceramic work has found its way into homes and gardens all over Europe and the United States. Sonic Trace follows one figurine, a trombone-playing rabbit, from the hands of her creator in the highlands of Oaxaca, into the global marketplace.

Elsa Gonzalez in her workshop

Elsa Gonzalez in her workshop

Instrument playing bunnies

Instrument playing bunnies

The orange clay ceramics of Santa Maria Tavehua

The orange clay ceramics of Santa Maria Tavehua

Elsa’s clay bunnies can be found at Deb Coburn’s Nomad in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at Jose Luis de Carlos Sanchez’s La Tienda Chimali in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

This story was produced by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and Eric Pearse Chavez. The editors were Jacob Conrad and Deborah George. Sonic Trace is part of Localore and the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR). It’s funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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  • WombatEd

    OK, I’m going to Oaxaca in December, and I might want to buy some bunnies at Jose Luis’ tienda. Anybody got an address? Directions how to get there from the zocalo? Hints on how to find the evil bunny?

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