East of Patzcuaro we found Cuanajo, a furniture-making town that sprouted from the days of Quiroga when he encouraged the villages to develop their own trade. Now the ornately-carved colourfully painted furniture, mirrors and accessories are popular around the world.
Although the children grow up involved in the handiwork of their parents and are greatly skilled themselves (& have for generations), the next generation seems to be moving to ‘greener pastures’ in other cities, countries and industries. Hopefully, there will always be enough talented artisans to keep these towns and villages alive and well.
We were especially delighted to find a husband/wife team but were not allowed to take pictures. The husband builds the furniture and does extensive carving which then his wife paints gaily. Many of the pictures carved into chairs, entertainment centres or bars are of Isla Janitzio making a direct connection to the local area. Another common picture from this couple reminded me of The Pied Piper but it is actually the Viejitos Dance which is the Dance of the Old Men.