Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little Paris

At over 2000 meters, the city of Tlaxiaco or "Paris Chiquito" is the chilly market centre of the Mixtec Alta. Wandering the sprawling reaches of the market is entrancing even on non-market days, but when the market is on full, the maze doubles in size and chaos.

There is little evidence of Tlaxiaco's elegant past other than in the name Paris Chiquito or "Little Paris" which is still marked on the combi's that transport people between Tlaxiaco and Putla. In about the mid 1850's this little town earned it's nickname because of the lively commerce and cultural events that passed though this town. The local elite dressed in all the latest Parisian fashions of the time, they imitated French customs, ate French cuisine, and spoke the language. When you walk around Tlaxiaco today it seems hard to imagine all of this taking place here in a town that feels so far away from Oaxaca City nevermind Paris.

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