Sunday, 5 June 2011

Treasures of Paris #4. Tienda Esquipulas

For this fourth issue of my special little treasures of Paris, I've taken decision to bring you in the Latin America, starting a journey into the Guatemalan and Mexican popular arts and traditions thanks to Tienda Esquipulas, a little shop in the heart of Montmartre... if you love, as me, to fill your house of colored and kitsch items, this boutique is a staging post while visiting Paris!

Ana and Irene, two sisters from Guatemala, started seven years ago a delicious shop here in Paris with the aim to disclose the popular art and peculiarities linked with their own local culture; their shop is a really ethnic market able to introduce here in France all these items that characterize the Latin American culture, as for instance masks, piñatas, ex-votos, decorated candles, handmade statuettes, traditional textiles, lucky charms and plastic gadgets... All the items present in this shop are issued by an accurate selection of the best popular art and handicraft directly imported from Guatemala and Mexico, and they are a surprising explosion of colors and of multiculturalism ...

The things that intrigued me the most in this shops are the items linked with the All Soul's festivity: in Guatemala, artists and crafters produce a wide range of funny and colorful skulls and skeletons, the calaveras, such as the ones in the top of this post. In this culture, indeed, the dead is not felt in the same sad and macabre way in which we consider her in Europe: she is a kind of natural continuation of life in other shapes and people does not fear her at all. During the Dia de los Meurtos (aka the All Souls' Day ), in Guatemala are held big festivities, in which abundant fiambres (a tipical dish) are served, and graves and houses are decorated in funny ways with colorful adornments, in order to allow the souls of dear ones to come back and stay for a while with alive ones. For that, in this culture dead is represented with humor and even fondness...
You can find La Tienda Esquipulas - Guatemala arte etnico, in Paris, 20 rue Houdon, 75018, from Tue to Sat, 11h-20h, and from Sun to Mon, 14h-19h, Website:

2 commenti:

Tanpopo said...

Merci pour l'adresse !! Je ne connaissais pas et je vais vite trouver le temps d'aller y faire un tour !
PS- Les petits tampons "Ice Cream" sont bien arrivés et sont formidables !

veronica perez on 13 June 2011 at 03:38 said...

The celebration of the "Day of the Death" in Mexico, as you said, is not sad, is much more a "Fiesta" to honor the people we loved wich is not longer with us.

It was the beleiving that they come to "fiesta" with us on each November 2nd, so we received them with an "Ofrenda", food, beverages, and candies,flower, are part of it.

Speciall candies, like "sugar skulls" are made specially for this ocassion, as well as bread, called "pan de Muerto".

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