The village of Temalacatzingo in the state of Guererro, where the local craft is lacquer work on gourds and a variety of carved wood figures, is so remote that the conquistadors and Dominicans never found it, and the descendants are mostly pure Nahual Indians. They have been creating lacquer work for centuries, long before Chinese lacquer began to appear in New Spain in the 16th Century via the Manila galleons.
They grow the gourds, an art in itself; dry them; carve the lids; clean them; and apply many layers of hand-ground mineral powders and home-grown chia oil, burnishing each layer for a final brilliant shine.
Each year, we attend the annual competition in the town of Temalacatzingo, where the local craft is lacquer work on gourds and a variety of carved wood figures. We are seated as honored guests at the long head table, listen to long speeches, and then shake hands with fifty-five winners (five prizes in each of eleven categories). We are the only attendees interested in shopping and are able to select a stunning array of imaginative and exquisitely lacquered works. It is not an exaggeration to say, you will not see these gourds anywhere else in the world. They are like the Faberge Eggs of Mexico.