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Art For México

Art For México Kit by yOOusers developed and idea by Laith Abu-Taleb 🟨🟦🟪🟧

Studies saying "learning and memorizing through playing and art could enhance the process and developing the motor skills and creativity at the same time which could reflect in a positive way in the academic performance".

After the huge success of the first release of ART FOR products' line "Art For Jordan", now we are launching the Art For México Art Kit, the idea behind the kit is to tell people about the culture of Mexico and the historical places in Mexico through art in a fun way, to enhance the knowledge about Mexico within the young generation.

By using the kit you can make 9+ artworks that represent the culture of Mexico using the Quilling art -the art based on rolling strips of papers to create different artworks and designs", the available outlines for the kit now are: Frida Khalo, the Piñata, the Pyramids of Mexico, the Mariachi, the Sombrero, the Maracas, Avocado, Lime, Taco, and Chili.

In this blog, you can find information about these shapes and why it's connected to the culture of Mexico, and by clicking on each pictures you can access a tutorial video to help yo creating the artwork in an easy way, and the kit contains the following tools and materials.

We are launching the Art For México Kit now in the occasion of the Independence Day of México.

👇 What does these shapes mean, learn more about the culture of México 👇

The Tacos 🌮

The taco as we know it today is a blend of ancient Mexican recipes and International influences. However, Tacos are thought to come from Mexico, long before the Spanish arrived. Ancient Mexicans used freshly made, soft, flat corn tortillas and gave them with fillings like fish and cooked organs. It was a staple meal that provided vital nutrients and energy to those who consumed it.

The word "taco" is quite new. It originated from Mexican silver miners in the 18 th century. Gunpowder was wrapped in a paper like a “taquito” and inserted into rocks before detonation.

By this time, tacos were known as the food of the working class, which included miners. This resulted in their portable street food being called “tacos de minero“, also known as “miner’s tacos”.

Facts about the Tacos:

  • Tacos Are a Staple of Mexican Cuisine.
  • Mexican Immigrants Brought the Taco to the US in the 1800s.
  • Tacos Are Customizable, and Are Flavorful and Savory.
  • Tacos Contain Fresh Ingredients From Most Food Groups.
  • Tacos Can Feed an Entire Family for Not a Lot of Money.
  • You Can Eat Tacos Standing Up.
  • Tacos are very popular due to how simple, yet flavorful they can be, and how inexpensive they are to buy or make at home. 

Frida Khalo 🌸

Considered one of Mexico's greatest artists, Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, Mexico City, Mexico. She grew up in the family's home where was later referred to as the Blue House or Casa Azul. Her father is a German descendant and photographer. He immigrated to Mexico where he met and married her mother Matilde. Her mother is half Amerindian and half Spanish. Frida Kahlo has two older sisters and one younger sister.

Frida Kahlo attended the renowned National Preparatory School in Mexico City in the year of 1922. There are only thirty-five female students enrolled in that school and she soon became famous for her outspokenness and bravery. At this school she first met the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera for the first time. Rivera at that time was working on a mural called The Creation on the school campus. Frida often watched it and she told a friend she will marry him someday. 

Frida had a tragic bus accident and was seriously injured, her spine and pelvis are fractured and this accident left her in a great deal of pain, both physically and physiologically, and because of that she stayed in bed for a while, and then said, "I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best". Her parents encouraged her to paint and made a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed. They also gave her brushes and boxes of paints.  

In the year of 1944, Frida Kahlo painted one of her most famous portraits, The Broken Column. In this painting, she depicted herself naked and split down the middle. Her spine is shattered like a column. She wears a surgical brace and there are nails all through her body, which is the indication of the consistent pain she went through. In this painting, Frida expressed her physical challenges through her art. During that time, she had a few surgeries and had to wear special corsets to protect her back spine. She seeks lots of medical treatment for her chronic pain but nothing really worked.  

Her health condition has been worsening in 1950. That year she was diagnosed with gangrene in her right foot. She became bedridden for the next nine month and had to stay in hospital and had several surgeries. But with great persistence, Frida Kahlo continued to work and paint. In the year of 1953, she had a solo exhibition in Mexican. Although she had limited mobility at that time, she showed up on the exhibition's opening ceremony. She arrived by ambulance, and welcomed the attendees, celebrated the ceremony in a bed the gallery set up for her. A few months later, she had to accept another surgery. Part of her right leg got amputated to stop the gangrene.  

With the poor physical condition, she is also deeply depressed. She even had an inclination for suicide. Frida Kahlo has been out and in hospital during that year. But despite her health issues, she has been active with the political movement. She showed up at the demonstration against US-backed overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala on July 2. This is her last public appearance. About one week after her 47th birthday, Frida Kahlo passed away at her beloved Bule House. She was publicly reported to die of a pulmonary embolism, but there is speculation which was saying she died of a possible suicide.

Frida Kahlo's fame has been growing after her death. Her Blue House was opened as a museum in the year of 1958. In the 1970s the interest in her work and life is renewed due to the feminist movement since she was viewed as an icon of female creativity. In 1983, Hayden Herrera published his book on her, A Biography of Frida Kahlo, which drew more attention from the public to this great artist. In the year of 2002, a movie named Frida was released, staring alma Hayek as Frida Kahlo and Alfred Molina as Diego Rivera. This movie was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup and Original Score.

The Piñata 🪅

Most people think of piñatas as a fun activity for parties. The history of the piñata reveals many interesting facts that go beyond the playing of a game, although piñatas certainly have been intended for fun.

There are at least two popular theories for the origin of the piñata. One is that the Aztec celebration of the birth of the god Huitzilopochtli involved a rite using a container similar to the piñata. According to Drink Cultura: "During the ceremonies, a feather-covered pot was filled with small treasures and hit with a stick so that its contents spilled at the feet of the idol."

The other legend says that the piñata originated in China where Marco Polo saw it and brought it back to Italy. The Chinese version was typically a hollow effigy of a farm animal filled with seeds.

In Italy the "pignatta," as it became to be known, was popularized by a game played by Roman soldiers who would hang clay pots and try to hit the pots with their swords while blindfolded. This game spread to Spain where it became a Lenten tradition. Mexico’s first documented piñata was hung up in Acolman in the 16th century.

At the beginning of the 16th century the Spanish missionaries to North America used the piñata to attract converts to their ceremonies. However indigenous peoples already had a similar tradition. To celebrate the birthday of the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli, priests placed a clay pot on a pole in the temple at year’s end. Colorful feathers adorned the richly decorated pot, filled with tiny treasures.. When broken with a stick or club, the treasures fell to the feet of the god’s image as an offering. The Mayans, great lovers of sport played a game where the player’s eyes were covered while hitting a clay pot suspended by string. The missionaries ingeniously transformed these games for religious instruction. They covered the traditional pot with colored paper, giving it an extraordinary, perhaps fearful appearance.

Original piñatas were clay pots covered with papier-mâché and ribbons. These piñatas had seven paper spikes symbolizing the seven cardinal sins. Because of the tradition of the piñata started in Acolman, the town became a major manufacturer of piñatas.

Now; Piñatas can be found in all shapes and sizes. Modern ones often represent cartoon or other characters known to most children. Others are shaped like fruits, baskets, rockets etc. Sometimes people of political statue are satirized. At Christmas, star-shaped piñatas suggestive of the Star of Bethlehem are especially popular. One’s imagination is the creative limit.

Traditionally, piñatas are filled with both candies and fruits. Around Christmas in Mexico, wrapped candies, peanuts, guavas, oranges, jicamas(a sweet root vegetable), sugar cane, and tejocotes (a kind of crab apple) stuff piñatas. Some types of piñatas called traps, are stuffed with flour, confetti or ‘flowery water’. Any child without a treat after the goodies are gathered from the ground is given a little basket full of special candy. These colaciónes are kept on hand to avoid hurt feelings and tears. The rest of the treats are passed around to everyone before the party is over.

In Mexico you will hear parents and children singing this special Piñata song.

Mariachi 🎤

Mariachi, small Mexican musical ensemble composed of a variety of mostly stringed instruments. In addition to referring to an ensemble, the term mariachi is also used for the individual performer of mariachi music or for the music itself. Mariachi has long been considered a uniquely Mexican sound, representing a homegrown tradition that embraces both indigenous and foreign elements. 

The mariachi orchestra emerged in the late 1700s or early 1800s in west-central Mexico. The word mariachi may have come from the now-extinct language of the Coca Indians, but both the word’s etymology and the early history of the form and its followers are unknown. The typical instruments of contemporary mariachi include the vihuela, a five-string guitar related to an instrument popular in the Spanish Renaissance; the guitarrón, a large, fretless six-string bass guitar; a standard six-string acoustic guitar; and violins and trumpets, which usually play the melody. Trumpets were not added until the early 20th century, but they are now more or less an essential element. Mariachi music initially consisted of local or regional sones (instrumental music), but, early on, performances began to include vocal elements. 

Early mariachis dressed in peasant garb (usually white), though since the early 20th century male mariachi bands typically have worn traje de charro, the attire of the cowboys of Jalisco—matching uniforms with tight, ornamented trousers, boots, wide bow ties, sombreros, and short jackets. The traditional ensemble was all-male, but since the 1940s women have played an increasing role in mariachi performance, and by the early 21st century there were a number of all-female mariachi groups. Most female performers dressed either in a modified version of traje de charro or in china poblana, a traditional costume consisting typically of an embroidered blouse, a long colorful skirt, and a rebozo (shawl).

The Pyramids of Mexico 🛕

Despite the towering reputation of Egypt’s Great Pyramids at Giza, the Americas actually contain more pyramid structures than the rest of the planet combined. Civilizations like the Olmec, Maya, Aztec and Inca all built pyramids to house their deities, as well as to bury their kings.

In many of their great city-states, temple-pyramids formed the center of public life and were the site of holy rituals, including human sacrifice. The best known Latin American pyramids include the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacán in central Mexico, the Castillo at Chichén Itzá in the Yucatan, the Great Pyramid in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the Pyramid at Cholula and the Inca’s great temple at Cuzco in Peru.

Mesoamerican peoples built pyramids from around 1000 B.C. up until the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century. (Egyptian pyramids are much older than American ones; the earliest Egyptian pyramid, the Pyramid of Djoser, was built in the 27 century BC). The earliest known pyramid in the Americas stands at La Venta in Tabasco, Mexico. American pyramids were generally built of earth and then faced with stone, typically in a stepped, or layered, shape topped by a platform or temple structure. They are often referred to as “stepped pyramids.”

The most famous single pyramid in Latin America is the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán, Mexico. The Teotihuacán was one of the most dominant societies in Mesoamerica; their namesake capital, located northeast of today’s Mexico City, had a population of 100,000 to 200,000 during the fifth and sixth centuries. According to Aztec tradition, the sun and the moon, as well as the rest of the universe, traced their origins to Teotihuacán. More temples have been discovered there than in any other Mesoamerican city.

The Teotihuacán built the Pyramids of the Sun and of the Moon between A.D. 1 and 250. Like many Mesoamerican pyramids, each was constructed around a core of rubble held in place by retaining walls. The walls were then faced with adobe bricks, and then covered with limestone. The base of the Pyramid of the Sun measures 730 feet per side, with five stepped terraces reaching a height of some 200 feet. Its massive size rivals that of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza.

Within the current pyramid is another, earlier pyramid structure of almost the same size. In 1971, archaeologists discovered a cave underneath the Pyramid of the Sun, leading to a chamber in the shape of a four-leaf clover. Artifacts found in the cave indicated the room’s use as a shrine, long before the pyramid itself was built.

The Pyramid of the Moon, though similar, was built on a smaller scale; it sits at the north end of the city’s main axis, called the Avenue of the Dead. Teotihuacán also contains a smaller stepped, stone-covered temple-pyramid called the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (an early form of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl). It was dedicated around A.D. 200, and evidence has been found of some 200 individuals who were sacrificed in the ceremony to honor it. Teotihuacán declined between the seventh and 10th centuries and was eventually abandoned.

The Sombrero 🧶

Sombrero, broad-brimmed high-crowned hat made of felt or straw, worn especially in Mexico and the southwestern United States. The sombrero, its name derived from the Spanish word sombra, meaning “shade,” first appeared in the 15th century. Gentlemen often wore tan, white, or gray felt sombreros, while peasants wore straw.

In Mexico the brim of the sombrero could be as much as 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Adopted by ranchers and frontiersmen in the United States, the sombrero was modified into the cowboy hat.

The Maracas 🥥

Maracas are perhaps one of the easiest musical instruments to play since it only needs to be shaken to produce sound. Rhythm and timing are important when playing this percussion instrument. A player can either shake it softly or vigorously depending on the type of music. Maracas are played in pairs. 

Maracas are used in the music of Puerto Rico and Latin American music such as salsa. The maracas is used in George Gershwin's Cuban Overture.

Most studies agree that the maraca came from the indigenous tribes in Latin America. What they don’t agree is on which tribe and in which country of Latin America they were first seen.

The maraca is made from a tree fruit. In Puerto Rico, they are made from a native small tree called the “higuera”. This tree produces a fruit with a hard shell. The Tainos made a small hole in the shell to extract the pulp. Then, and after letting it dry, they would fill it with seeds or pebbles.

A wood stick is normally placed through the core of the maracas as a handle for them. It also serves to not interfere with the sound of its core. Nowadays, maracas are tied together with a string between the two wooden sticks. The main purpose of this is to keep them together and not lose one of the pair.

That’s why Cheo said “echale semilla a la maraca pa’ que suene”, in that Fania All Stars version of the song. The maracas are normally (but not always) played in pairs. The amount of seeds, pebbles, or whatever is used to make their sound, is normally not in equal amounts. One maraca will normally have more seeds than the other. This will have the effect of producing different pitches in their sound.

The modern day maraca is made of leather or plastic. Additionally, it’s filled with all kinds of materials to make their sound.

The Avocado 🥑

Researchers believe Puebla, located in South Central Mexico, to be the motherland of the avocado, where this strange and delicious fruit first flourished and locals began consuming them nearly 10,000 years ago. It’s also believed that Mesoamerican tribes first domesticated the avocado tree (Persea Americana) 5,000 years ago, making the cultivation of avocados as old as the invention of the wheel.

Prior to its domestication, it’s thought the survival of the avocado may have been dependent on the ability of since-extinct large mammals to stomach the fruit’s mildly toxic pit after swallowing the large berry whole. In theory, the seed was ready to sprout by the time it was excreted.

The avocado was extremely important among the indigenous people of ancient Mesoamerica, as the fruit provided sustenance and possessed mythological powers. For instance, the Aztecs believed the fruit provides strength to whomever consumed it, and in ancient Maya, the fourteenth month of their calendar (K’ank’in) is represented by the glyph for the avocado.

The fruit eventually made its way across the Atlantic when Spanish explorers were introduced to the avocado in the 16th century. By 1521, the fruit had spread through Central America and into parts of South America before being exported back to Europe by the Spanish and sold to other countries.

And the most famous dish you can make using the avocado is the guacamole it’s a smashed avocados with onion, tomatoes, lime, salt, …and this is the most common style to make it and you eat it with tortilla chips “totopos” and you can use it with the tacos as well, you can buy 1 kg off avocado in Mexico in average of 3.5 USD.

The Chili 🌶

Mexican cuisine is full of rich flavors and exciting spice combinations. The dishes are as colorful and inspiring as Mexican culture itself. A major staple in Mexican cuisine, of course, the famed chili pepper.

This powerful pepper is in just about every dish you can imagine, and some of the most famous types of chili are: Habanero, Jalapeno, Serrano and you can find them in every market in Mexico and they use them in most of the dishes.

The chili pepper found its home in Mexican cuisine as a result of several historical happenings. Chili peppers have long been used in Mexico. The first evidence of the use of chili peppers dates all the way back to 6900-5000 years B.C.

Native tribes in Mexico had domesticated and utilized the powers of the chili pepper long before they spread throughout the old world. Chili peppers were used not only as food but also for medicinal purposes and in rituals and ceremonies.

Chili peppers not only survived through the Spanish conquest of the Americas, but they also made their way back to the old world to be incorporated into cuisine. The Spanish recognized their versatility and included chilis in much of their food and drink.

Chili peppers came onto the scene in other parts of the world after the Columbian Exchange. Before this transmission of ideas, foods, and culture, they were uniquely Mexican.

Chili peppers can grow in warm climates all around the world, with some being hardier than others. Chili peppers are still grown in great numbers across Mexico and much of Latin America. Now, however, the majority of chili peppers are currently produced in China.

The Lime 🍋

For several decades, since at least the 1950s, Mexico has been the world's largest producer and exporter of limes, and especially of lime oil.

The two popular varieties of limes grown in Mexico are the Mexican or Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and the Persian lime (Citrus latifolia, simply called "lime" in the US); the former is of Indo–Malayan origin introduced in Mexico by the Spaniards after the 1520s, while the latter, also called the Tahiti lime, was introduced from the United States. Persian lime production in Mexico caters specifically to the US market; a substantial increase in production has been attributed to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Lime production in Mexico has also expanded consequent to the increase in its per capita consumption in the United States and the European Union (EU).

The lime is super cheap in Mexico and it’s a main ingredient in Mexican cuisine, you can mix it with chili and use it for the tacos, beans soup, and many more dishes.

👇 The Tutorial Videos "How to Quilling for Art For México" by yOOusers 👇 

The idea of Art For México Kit is orginaly made and developed by Laith Abu-Taleb and yOOusers, all the tutorial videos and Quilling artworks are made by Laith Abu-Taleb and the content of this blog is developed by yOOusers using the following referances, to claim any of the copyrights please contact us on info@yOOusers.com we made sure to add all the original referances for the content and added extra information from our tour in México starting from April 2022 in partnership with All Community for Development Coaching / L.L.C. registered in Jordan. *All terms, conditions and privacy policy of yOOusers applied.

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