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/
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.
Canonized in 2002, Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin is the first Indigenous American Saint.
Cuauhtlatoatzin means “the eagle that talks” in náhuatl.
On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531 Juan Diego witnessed the apparition of on Tepayac Hill of the Lady of Guadalupe, who is today considered the patron Saint of the Americas. In a time of social struggle between Indigenous Mexicans and Spanish the news of the apparition spread quickly through Mexico; and in the seven years that followed 8 million people were converted to the Catholic faith.
This oil painting of Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin was painted by Miguel Cabrera sometime before 1768 and also includes possibly the earliest depiction of the ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache.
Toot, toot, toot, is that the sound of a Horn?
Huarache Blog was recently quoted on the Luna Sandals website for saying this about Luna Sandals: “no company has come as close to paying homage to the incredible super-athlete Tarahumara as Luna Sandals.”
This is true, sports companies have in the past named their running products Tarahumara and Raramuri, but none have actually designed product that was otherwise related to the Raramuri.
Luna Sandals has done a fantastic job of developing and promoting not only a new concept in the running footwear market, but also one which is undeniably related to the Raramuri. Luna Sandals has put the Raramuri on the map.
Below is a recently found photo of Luna Sandals founder Ted McDonald and Manual Luna the Raramuri huarachero who showed Ted how to make the Raramuri ‘Pata de Gallo‘ Huarache sandal. The traditional ‘Pata de Gallo‘ Huarache that went on to become the Luna Sandal designs of today.
For more information on Luna Sandals, check out my post titled ‘Luna Sandals – Huaraches For Running‘
Keep up the good work Luna Sandals.
A few years ago a best selling book called Born To Run by Chris McDougall introduced mainstream America to an indigenous Mexican group called Tarahumara or Raramuri which translates as ‘those with light feet’. The Raramuri live in the Copper Canyon in the southwest of Chihuahua State and as the name suggests have a long history and strong tradition of running. In fact the Raramuri are known to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury and more incredibly with no specific training.
Scott Jurek runs with Arnulfo Quimare. Photo by Luis Escobar.
Arnulfo Quimare. Photos by Luis Escobar.
Running Raramuri. Photo from Norawas De Raramuri – Friends of the Running People.
Below is a good video about the Raramuri as runners:
Running shoe companies have been paying homage to Raramuri for many years and long before the book Born To Run was released. To name a few designs Nike has in the past released shoes called Nike Tarahumara and more recently the Nike Raramuri. But no company has come as close to paying homage to the incredible superathlete Tarahumara as Luna Sandals.
Luna Sandals is a company started by one of the protagonists of the book Born To Run, a man called Barefoot Ted. The name of Luna comes from Manuel Luna a Raramuri in Urique who made Ted his first pair of Huaraches in 2006 where he was running in the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon.
Manuel Luna and Barefoot Ted. Photos taken from www.barefootted.com.
Raramuri ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huaraches at the 2011 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. Photo taken from Barefoot Ted’s Facebook page.
Luna Sandals make ‘Pata de Gallo’ Huarache as used by the Raramuri to walk and run, but elevate the product with lighter and better performing materials. Whereas the Raramuri run in thick and heavy Huaraches made from old car and truck tyres, Luna Sandals are made using fine suede and leathers such as 2mm Cordovan which is glued to a 2-8 mm Vibram rubber outsole. With the addition of Equus elasticized laces Luna Sandals have essentially evolved the Pata de Gallo to turn it a performance running Huarache.
The top of the line at $125 is the LeadCat designed for the rough trails of the Leadville 100 race.
Then others are the Leadville Pacer at $75 which comes without a leather top and therefor has a thinner sole for improved ground feel and better performance in the wet.
As with all Huaraches they always look better worn in.
There is the Equus for $125 on a 2mm rubber sole.
And here is a worn Equus, notice how the Huarache has molded to the foot shape.
The main philosophy behind Luna Sandals is to honor the foot first by offering traditionally designed sandals which promote the rediscovery of a more natural style of running while fitting the needs of the modern consumer. And as far from a traditional running shoe as Luna Sandals are, I think they are right. The human body has evolved and developed to run shoeless over millions of years and running shoes have only existed for the last seventy, which poses the question; do we need all those technical running shoe designs, or do we just need to protect the soles of our feet with a light weight Luna Sandal?
Like Huarache Blog Luna Sandals is interested in the designs of traditional sandals from all over the world, sandals made out of natural, sustainable materials that are easy to make by hand with simple tools. And like Huarache Blog they also believe that minimalist footwear traditions are part of our shared heritage and that we should preserve them and encourage others to do the same.
Huarache Blog has designed and is currently testing its own running sandals, combining construction principles from the Tarahuamara ‘Pata de Gallo and the Ho Chi Minh sandals from Vietnam. Check them out on the post titled ‘My Running Huarache Sandals‘.