November 13, 2006

Festival of corn

Parade at the festival of corn, La Prensa, Honduras

The festival of corn was held recently in La Labor, Ocotepeque, Honduras. I thought you might enjoy these pictures, shamelessly stolen from this La Prensa article (in Spanish).

Corn is the base of the economy of this region, where the festival of corn has been held for the last 12 years. In preparation for the festival, houses are decorated with corn husks and stalks, ears of corn, and the grain itself.

Flowers, dolls, necklaces are made from the corn husks. The festival includes fireworks, music, and a parade with floats carrying children dressed almost completely with corn products.

After the parade, foods made of corn, such as tamales, atole (a drink), tortillas, and grilled corn, are served.

Dress made of grains of corn, La Prensa, Honduras

Doll made of corn husks, La Prensa, Honduras

In another part of Honduras, women make use of corn husks in making dolls and other adornments. In the little village of La Pintada, near Copán Ruins, 24 maya chortí women have formed a cooperative to sell their dolls made of la tusa (corn husks).

The dolls carry the name of the maker and the money is shared according to sales, with L.5 ($0.26 US) deposited in the cooperative for each sale. Each woman takes a turn at minding the store for a day at a time. The village of adobe houses doesn't get too many tourists, so the dolls are also sold by children along the highway going to Copán.

This isn't an ancient craft carried down through the years. The women explained that they were taught by a man from Ireland how to make the dolls in 2000. The entire La Prensa article in Spanish and more photos can be found here.
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