San Jose del Cabo's Art District provides some of the best browsing opportunities in Los Cabos, with numerous galleries showcasing an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional Mexican art from some of the country's finest artists. Paquime, one of the best of the downtown galleries, represents the best of both worlds, promoting contemporary artists that work in age-old folk styles, most notably Mata Ortiz pottery and Huichol Indian art.
Paquime's Gallery specializes in traditional Mexican folk art. — Photo courtesy of Paquime Gallery
Paquime takes its name from an ancient Mesoamerican city in the state of Chihuahua, near the present day village of Mata Ortiz, where in recent decades there has been a remarkable revival of the traditional ceramics practiced at Paquime nearly a thousand years ago. The revival was spearheaded by modern master Juan Quezada, and pottery from this small Mexican village is now considered among the best in the world. Reminiscent in some ways of ancient Greek amphorae, Mata Ortiz pots are still made without benefit of a potter's wheel, and are painted with brushes made from children's hair.
A Huichol beaded bracelet in the shape of a peyote flower. — Photo courtesy of Jupagame
Paquime Gallery is also one of the best places in Los Cabos to find Huichol Indian art. The Huichol are Native Americans that live in the Sierra Madre mountains, still worship traditional gods, and use peyote in their religious ceremonies. Although it's hard to consider their pre-Columbian style art modern, there are still many great Huichol artists producing remarkable yarn paintings and beaded figures featuring symbols - deer, scorpions, eagles, cosmic patterns - that reflect their spiritual beliefs.