FIRST ARRIVALS – The úkata “Cien Clavos” by Huaraches Martínez – The Finest Work Huaraches in MexicoPosted: March 11, 2013
BACK IN STOCK!
úkata is proud to offer their first Huaraches for sale.
The “Cien Clavos” Huaraches are made by José Martínez from the small town of Mazamitla, nestled in the pine covered hills of the Sierra Tigre in Southern Jalisco. José Martínez is continuing in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, making the same traditional Huarache designs. A true craftsman, he works alone finishing one, or sometimes 2 pairs per day, while organically tanning his own leathers using mimosa tree bark.
The “Cien Clavos” or “Hundred Nails” design is so called because of the many nails used in the sole. The character of the “Cien Clavos” isn’t trend driven so you’ll never grow tired of this unique Huarache design. The Huarache upper unlike that of other footwear will only get better with age, as the vegetable tanned full grain leather slowly forms to your foot shape and gains a rich golden honey patina over time.
Made in the traditional Huarache way, the ”Cien Clavos” is entirely hand cut without cutting dies. The upper is lined using a pedal powered leather sewing machine, after which it is nailed to a wooden mesquite last where it is hand woven into the insole using only a single strip of leather cut from the center of the hide. A continuous leather strip that is cut and skived freehand and yet with incredible precision from years of practice. The sole is made from a reclaimed truck tire which José Martínez thins down, cuts and washes before nailing to the woven Huarache upper (the nails provide a very strong hold so no glue is used to join the sole). Unlike other Huaraches, the “Cien Clavos” has a closed heel which was originally used for horse riding, and the vamp partially covers the toes which makes the Huaraches an interesting shoe/sandal hybrid.
The “Cien Clavos” Huarache is a signature Martínez design and is made in very limited quantities. You will not find market or souvenir huaraches of a comparable quality and design. Nor will you likely find footwear crafted by the same artisan who also tans their own leather anywhere in the world.
Introducing Señor José Martínez the Master Huarachero and maker of the one of a kind “Cien Clavos” Huaraches.
By purchasing úkata Huaraches, you will be championing talented Huarachero artisans for their incredible handmade footwear, that is also gentle to the environment and deep rooted in Mexican history.
ハンドメイド・シューズ, Leather Sandals, Lädersandaler, الجلود والصنادل, 皮凉鞋, Leren Sandalen, Sandales en Cuir, Ledersandalen, चमड़े के सैंडल, Sandali in Pelle, 革のサンダル, Skinn Sandaler, Sandalias de Cuero, Lädersandaler, Huaraches, Guaraches, Mexican Sandals, Sandali Messicani, 멕시코 샌들, मेक्सिको सैंडल, Sandales Mexicains, Meksikanske Sandaler, Mexicaanse Sandalen, メキシコのサンダル, 墨西哥凉鞋, Мексиканские сандалии, Mexikanska Sandaler, Mexikanischen Sandalen, ワラチ, ワラチ, المكسيكي الصنادل, Woven Sandals, Sandali Intrecciati, 编织凉鞋, Gewebten Sandalen, Geweven Sandalen, Sandales Tissées, 不織布サンダル, 짠 샌들, Vevde Sandaler, тканые сандалии, Sandalias Tejidas, Vävda Sandaler, المنسوجة الصنادل, बुना सैंडल, Handmade Sandals, Sandali fatti a mano, 手工凉鞋, Sandales à la main, हस्तनिर्मित सैंडल, 手作りのサンダル, Håndlagde Sandaler, Sandalias Hechas a Mano, Handgjorda Sandaler, Handgefertigte Sandalen, الصنادل المصنوعة يدويا
Presenting úkata, Huarache Blog’s online store selling rare Huarache designs crafted by the most skilled artisans.
The name úkata means ‘craft’ in Purepecha an ancient language from Central Mexico where Huarache Blog began. Fittingly the indigenous Mexican Purepecha are considered the finest craftspeople in Mexico and are especially well known for their weaving abilities.
úkata hopes to offer readers around the world the opportunity to wear and experience the best Huaraches. Unique footwear where both leather and design are handcrafted, in some special cases by the same artisan. Timeless footwear design that has been made the same way by the Huarachero and his family for 2, 3 and sometimes 4 generations.
úkata aims to support Huaracheros by selling their Huaraches in periods of low sales and in limited quantities, so as not to disrupt any existing trade which they maintain with existing long term retail partners.
Talented Huaracheros who are being sidelined by the rise of branded factory footwear, increasing costs of leather and the declining prices of the local Huarache market. úkata will promote their craftsmanship to a global audience with the long term objective to help elevate the craft of Huaraches by selling only the finest examples. Increasing exposure and demand for high quality Huarache design to encourage highly skilled artisans continue refining their craft and grow their business, hiring employees and passing down their Huarache making knowledge to future generations.
Because sometimes Huaraches can also be for scrolling.
A new Huarache Blog Tumblr page for old and new images of traditional Mexican Footwear, from Huarache Blog and from the web.
Check out http://huaracheblog.tumblr.com/
For the past 3 years Huarache Blog has been documenting and promoting the craft of Mexican Huarache footwear. This year I will also be developing a specialty e-trade business to offer more immediate support to the craft of Huaraches.
Introducing úkata, an online Huaracheria selling only the best Huaraches in Mexico. Rare designs crafted by the most talented Huaracheros. Timeless Huarache styles that have been made the same way by the artisan and his family for generations. Footwear with a low environmental impact, made with naturally processed and recycled materials.
Click back in February for a more detailed post on úkata and to visit the online store.
Durante los últimos 3 años Blog Huarache ha estado documentando y promoviendo la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos. Este año voy iniciar un negocio de comercio internet para ofrecer un apoyo más inmediato a los Huaracheros y a la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos.
Presentando úkata una Huaracheria en línea de los mejores Huaraches en México. Huaraches excepcionales hechos por los mejores Huaracheros.
Si algúno Huaracheros talentosos quieran vender sus huaraches en el internet, por favor pónganse en contacto con Huarache Blog escribiendo un comentario con sus correo eléctronico en la parte inferior de este artículo (Enter your comment here…).
Nestled into the Sierra Norte mountains of Oaxaca is the small town of Yalalag.
Yalalag is very precious World Heritage site, not only for it’s strong Pre-Hispanic traditions, but also because like only a handful of other small towns in Mexico, most of the Yalalag population is still dedicated to the traditional craft of Huarache making.
Huaracheria Aquino is the largest ‘Taller’ workshop in Yalalag and they are well known for their high quality Zapotec Huaraches.
What also sets this family run business apart from most other Huarache makers in Mexico is that their crafting process begins at their in-house tannery, where they vegetable tan all their leathers to their precise specifications.
Huaracheria Aquino is famous for their traditional women’s Zapotec Yalalag sandals (the only existing traditional women’s leather sandal/huarache style in Mexico).
Photo of young Zapotec Woman in Mitla, by Guy Stresser-Péan, 1957
Their ‘Tejido’ Huarache also stands out for the fine attention to detail.
And the ‘Cincho Forado’ Huarache is the finest of its kind.
Interestingly the seemingly modern thermoplastic coated “Oscaria” leather which is very popular in this area of Mexico has been used for over 40 years.
Inside the Aquino ‘Taller’ workshop hangs a framed picture of the Aquino Great-grandfather and founder of Huaracheria Aquino.
It’s not uncommon for Huaracheros to still use lasts that are over 80 years old. The wooden lasts are made of Mesquite not only because it was once the most readily available material with which to make lasts, but because the Mesquite does not expand very much from contact with the wet leather.
Most Huaracheros still prefer using wooden lasts to plastic because they say there is reduced bounce when ‘asentando’ (hammering to flatten the leather upper to the last) .
To contact Huaracheria Aquino directly please visit their Facebook page, or email them at email@example.com.
Señor Alfaro is 70 years old and the last Huarachero in Sayula, Jalisco. Although his woven Huaraches have won him awards in regional craft competitions, today like may Huaracheros his business has become very difficult. Although Señor Alfaro has done very well to stay in a trade where many have quit, he melancholically tells me that Huarache making is a craft headed for extinction and that he has advised all his family not to get into it.
Sadly most towns in Mexico have at most one Huarachero left, whereas 30 years ago each town used to have many. Señor Alfaro told me that at one time 90% of Sayula locals wore Huaraches and 10% wore shoes, today that ratio is inverted and only 10% wear Huaraches.
But besides the reduced consumer base, there are 2 major difficulties facing skilled Huaracheros today, the rising costs of vegetable tanned leather and rubber tyres, and that very few Mexicans are prepared to pay the equivalent of US$30-US$60 for footwear, especially if it isn’t branded.
But if you’re looking for some new high quality Huaraches and want to learn more about how they’re crafted, Señor Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez’s welcomes you to visit his ‘Taller’ workshop only a few blocks from the main Plaza in Sayula, Jalisco.
The workshop is located at:-
Prisciliano Sanchez No.160
Sayula, Jalisco, Mexico
Remember that you won’t find any Huaraches made as finely as Señor Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez’s in any Mexican Market or High Street.
Some of Señor Alfaro’s Huarache designs include the ‘Finito Recargado’. Notice how every weave on the vamp overlaps the next.
Simpler ‘Recargado’ Huaraches with ‘adornos’ detailing. As well as complex weaves many Huaraches used to be embellished with stitching and rivets (some as big as a nickel). Such Huaraches were sometimes referred to as “para domiguear”, which loosely translated means “to Sunday in”.
Some ‘Arañita’ Huaraches
And ‘Zapatilla’ Huaraches
There are 2 Huaracherias in Tamazula, Jalisco and both are near the central market.
Huaracheria ‘Don Cuco’ sells a variety of styles mainly from nearby Ciudad Guzman and Sahuayo.
But the ‘Creme de la Creme’ at ‘Don Cuco’s’ where undoubtedly this fine pair of ‘Tejio’ Huaraches with 16 ‘Vueltas’ made by a local artisan. Unfortunately such styles are harder to find nowadays because there is little demand for Huaraches that cost more than a pair of Shoes.
There was also an interesting pair of ‘Ojillado’ Huaraches with small metal eyelets.
Huaracheria Galvez also sold ‘Ojillado’ Huaraches, but they were not as popular due to their higher cost as the ‘Tejido’ Huaraches.
The ‘Tejido’ Huaraches.
Inside the Mercado de Abastos there are a large variety of Huaraches and plenty of light to see all the crafted details.
Unlike the other markets in Oaxaca at the Mercado de Abastos you can also see Huaracheros making Huaraches. Most of the Huaracheros and Huaracherias have been here for over 40 years.
Most Oaxacan Huaraches have unique marking designs on the leather, this is called “Marcado”.
There were some interesting “Sachileno” Huaraches with 4 and 6 “Pasadas”.
Some elegant “Tejido” Huaraches.
Also a variety of “Cacles”, both fashion designs
And the traditional “Cacles” that are nowadays very hard to find anywhere in Mexico.
I was lucky to find these unfinished Huaraches from Huarachero Juan Saucedo at the Mercado Dan Juan de Dios in Guadalajara.
Working out of his Huaracheria in spaces 452-1048 since 1965, the protagonist of many Mexican press articles on the craft of Huaraches and with multiple academic degrees, Senor Saucedo is a remarkable Huaracehero.
Known as the ‘Tamazula’, or the ‘Pihuamo’ from the towns where they are traditionally made, I noticed this pair of Huaraches hanging at the back of his Huaracheria wall and realized how the artistic expression of the Huarache comes alive in it’s abstract form without sole.
Like neighboring Amacueca and Concepción de Buenos Aires, Teocuitatlán de Corona is also well known for its Huarache traditions. Also a few hours south from Guadalajara, Teocuitatlán is a well preserved, small and quiet country town.
There are only 2 remaining Huaracheros in Teocuitatlán and one Huaracheria, this isn’t so bad if you consider that only one barber remains.
One Huarachero has his ‘taller’ workshop just off the central plaza, opposite the church.
The Huarache style in Teocuitatlán de Corona is consistent with the Southern Jalisco natural leather and white ‘Oscaria’ blocking. The pair below also has a ‘Pico’ style sole shape as found in nearby Atoyac.
Below on the right is the animal fat that is used to lubricate the ‘correa’ leather strip before weaving.
Next door is a Huaracheria that sells ‘Pachuco’ Huaraches and this ‘Santa Anna’ Huarache also found in northern Jalisco.
2 blocks from the Plaza works Sr. Jose Vidrio. His workshop has been open since 1948, but Sr. Jose Vidrio has been making Huaraches for even longer!
Nowadays Sr. Jose Vidrio still makes Huaraches, but mostly he says “to keep himself busy”.
He has an interesting selection of miniature Huarache styles to choose from for your custom made pair.
With details abound, Sr. Jose Vidrio’s workshop is full of stories.
The walls are also proudly covered with football memorabilia connected to Sr. Jose Vidrio’s international soccer playing son Manuel Vidrio.
Half of Sr. Jose Vidrio’s children live abroad, from Peru to Hawaii and all know how to make Huaraches.