Tag: Destination: Modern Mexico

Exploring Mayan Ruins and Temples

Our third Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Mary, her husband, and her two children traveled to Mexico this winter. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is the first part of their adventure. To learn more about her family’s adventures, check out her The World is a Book blog.

Mexico is expecting a record number of tourists in 2012. This is due to the myth of the December 21 apocalypse prophecy based on an ancient Maya calendar.  While we’re not one of the doomsday tourists, our family did visit Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and the Maya ruins on a recent trip.


Family Trip to Mexico

We chose the Kohunlich (pronounced KOE•HOON•LEECH) archaeological zone to explore.  It was located near the town of Chetumal, about five hours from Cancun and two hours from Costa Maya.

To get there, we took a long tour bus ride that went through many small towns.  Our guide pointed out schools and churches along the way.  We also saw kids selling items on the streets.  It was a good eye opener for our kids, at ages 6 and 9, to see how kids their age lived in this part of the world even if it was only a glimpse.

When we finally arrived, Kohunlich felt mystical and offered some of the region’s best preserved ruins. It was completely surrounded by a lush, tropical jungle where it was eerily quiet at times.  It was remote enough that it wasn’t swarming with tourists.  Its name was adapted from the name “Cohoon Ridge” after the abundance of Cohoon palms throughout the area.

Trip to Mexico with Kids

The ancient city was full of fascinating religious and residential structures to explore – a sunken palace, an acropolis, a ball court, courtyards, temples and expansive plazas.  Archaeologists believed this used to be a regional trading center between 300 – 1200 AD.

Family Trip to Mexico

Kohunlich was elaborately planned with stuccoed buildings mostly painted in red.  It was amazing to see how large they were and the effort it took to build them during their time.  Even with trees and plants enveloping crevices of the structures, we could still envision the grandeur.

We also did an interesting exercise with our guide.  He asked us to close our eyes and imagine being transported back to when this ancient city was thriving with life and visualize their daily routines.  He then played instruments that imitated bird and animal sounds of the jungle.  It provided a different perspective to experience the ruins.

While these ruins involved a lot of walking, the plaza was perfect for kids to run around in!

Family Trip To Mexico

Visit our Studio T blog tomorrow to hear about the family’s adventures in the Temple of Masks.


Behind the Design: Mexico’s Dragon

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

While Mexico, doesn’t necessarily have a traditional dragon, per say, it does have some very dragon-like creatures that have become very important to Mexican Culture.

images credits (left to right and top to bottom): Pyramid of Feathered Serpent, Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl Mosaic by Diego Rivera, Diego Rivera Illustrations, Quetzalcoatl Mosaic Detail, Diego Rivera Illustration

The Feathered Serpent is a dragon-like deity important to many mesoamerican cultures. In Aztec culture he is known as Quetzalcoatl. Like many dragons in Asian cultures, the feathered serpent has a snake-like body, however it is not covered in scales like most other cultures’ dragons.  The feather serpent is covered with feathers, which gives it the ability to fly, even though it does not have wings. [fun fact: the Korean Dragon can also fly and does not have wings] The feathered serpent appeared in many of Diego Rivera’s works (pictured above). Do you recognize the frog in Diego’s mosaic?

mexico dragon shirt

Tea’s Aztec Serpent Shirt

images from inspiration trip photos

Many alebrijes take form as dragons or dragon-like creatures.  I suspect since alebrijes are a modern Mexican craft, crafters were exposed to influences from many different cultures. A dragon is a logical choice for an alebrije since they are usually fantasical creatures.

Tea’s Alebrije Shirt

Behind the Design: Highland Holiday Colors

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

Deep purples, rich blues and pops of bright pink may not scream holiday to everyone, but we loved this festive color palette proudly worn by the people in the village of Chamula. These are the colors of the traditional dress in this region of Chiapas. We were so inspired by the color, we couldn’t even wait till we got home to sport this beautiful palette. One generous women we met even let us try the clothes on that she was wearing. I hope you enjoy wearing them as much as we do.

mexico holiday clothing inspired by chimula

some of the styles from our Highland Holiday collection: girl styles, boy styles, women styles

Mexico in Green and Red

mexico in green and red mexican christmas poinsietta

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

While we decided to go with a less traditional color palette for our holiday collection this year, Mexico was still filled with red & green inspiration that we wanted to share with you. Come back tomorrow for the inspiration behind our Highland Holiday color palette.

Did you know the poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico, where they call it “Noche Buena,” meaning Christmas Eve? The association of the poinsettia with Christmas began in Mexico. Can you see the poinsettia influence in some of the Mexican floral motifs?

Behind the Design: Lucha Libre Masks

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.


The photo above was taken on our by one of our designers on our Modern Mexico Inspiration trip.

Luche Libre is a Mexican wrestling style characterized by the colorful masks the participants wear. The first Lucha Libre mask was worn as a gimmick in order to excite the audience and develop an alternate persona for the wrestler. Since then, the sport has become defined by the characters and colors the wrestlers’ masks exhibit.

We couldn’t help but include some colorful Lucha Libre masks in our boys graphic tees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share with us in the comments below: what color would your Lucha Libre mask be?

 

Happy Birthday Diego!

Today’s Google Doodle marks Diego Rivera’s 100th birthday.  If you’re a frequent visitor of Tea’s blog, you know our Modern Mexico children’s clothes collection draws inspiration from the Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

Join us in celebrating this great day by making some art of your own. Below are Tea’s Diego Rivera coloring pages and Frida Kahlo coloring pages from our Modern Mexico Activity book. Take a minute to download these for your children for an educational, fun activity focusing on Diego Rivera for kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download and color our Diego and Frida activity book pages today!  We want to see your artwork.  Please post your completed pages in the comments section below or on our Facebook.

Behind the Design: La Rana y La Mono Baby Romper

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

You may be wondering, why does Tea have a frog and a monkey on their baby romper?  Well these two creatures actually represent two famous married Mexican artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

If you’ve been following our Studio T blog, you’ll know that a lot of our Modern Mexico children’s clothes collection was inspired by the works of Diego and Frida.  Our La Rana Y El Mono baby romper captures our playful tribute to them.

frog drawings and mosaics by Diego Rivera, monkeys from Frida Kahlo’s self portraits

Diego thought he looked like a frog and Frida would often paint monkeys throughout her work.  The artists started to use the Spanish pet names La Rana (frog) and El Mono (monkey) for each other. We think that’s pretty adorable.

How about you?  What are your pet names for your loved ones?