Thursday, January 30, 2020

Copala - Part 1

On Wednesday we took a day trip to Copala about 54 miles from the RV park. We stopped in Malpica, to see the laundry ladies and in Concordia on the way back. Last post has video of driving through Copala  Francisco de Ibarra crossed the mountains from Durango and and conquered the area for Spain. First known as San Jose de Copala it was named after the mythical city of gold that Ibarra was searching for. Silver was discovered there in 1565 and the town was built to service the mines.  In 1616 the town was destroyed by an uprising of Tepehuan Indians but was rebuilt the following year. In the 1800's it was a very wealthy town because of the gold and silver mines. At that time there were around 10,000 people living there. Now there are around 4 - 500.
Just before reaching the turnoff to town looking to the south there is an old mine building/entrance.
Turning down the newly paved, with cobblestones,  road into town. 
A city shield(?) as we come into town. The trees, Francisco Ibarra, the mining industry and the church. 
A couple of huge bougainvilleas 
Some beautiful hanging climbing flowers. 
Driving up the narrow main street. Another cloudy kind of overcast day so pictures are not vivid. 
Hope no one is coming down the road!
I have always wondered about this place. Looks like it was cut in half. 
Almost to the plaza. Alejandro's restaurant in front of us
The old church - see previous blog 
This building used to be a souvenir shop, it has been closed now for years. Too bad they had some neat stuff. 
Sure wish this mural could be restored. 
Walking up towards Alejandro's studio. Alejandro Rodriguez, is an internationally known artisan of leather tooling. His masks and faces are beautiful workmanship. Alejandro also owns the only cafe left in Copala. He and Rak, owner of Nid Art in Mazatlan were Bill's mentors and teacher when he started working in leather several years ago. 
Looking back at the plaza and church. 
Inside the gallery looking out the back door towards Alejandro's home. The colors are amazing. (Years ago this home and gallery were owned by Luis and his wife who first made the leather masks.They separated and she is now married to Rak who owns Nid Art. She works in leather there. Alejandro worked with Luis, but in my opinion  he has improved on the technique and Alejandro's work is the best.) 
A look at some of his work. This one is different with the long braid. 
Some of his masks for sale. 
The very interesting floor of the gallery, bricks, slabs of rock and a hunk of petrified tree.
The ceiling of the old building.
Alejandro is to the left in the doorway. I was trying to take a picture of the mirror - didn't realize I was in it.
Bill did quiet a bit of leather art work when we lived in Indiana. Click here to see a blog and video of how he did it. 
Some of his work. This is a leather leaf that was shaped then painted. We have it at home.
 Beginning work on a mask. The leather is not painted yet.
 Another one that is finished. That is a big shell in the middle. 
Working on another one. Formed and starting to paint it.  
 He also did leather jewelry, this is a pin. He did hair clips, pins, necklaces, and earrings. 
But his favorite thing was working with the hand carved wood spirits. 
Back to Copala - Outside a picture of the pretty plaza and gazebo. 
Young boys in the town sell these carvings to the tourists. Most contain a piece of real silver. They are made from a tree bark that has these large thorn type things on them. 
From here we went to the restaurant for lunch and banana cream pie. 
There is a Part 2 of Copala coming soon. 


Doug and Nancy said...

Sweet tour- thanks buddy!! So much better than the day I had at work and so much nicer looking than the pounding rain outside. Pictures are beautiful!! Doug says 334 more days to go.....

Kathy Tycho said...

Have looked at masks in quite a few towns and I must say I prefer a little less color..some are too gaudy for me! Liked the ones in Nid Art as well as Copala.

Carol and Bill said...

Alejandro learned from Luis who lived in Copala quite a few years ago. Luis' wife now is married to Rak owner of NidArt and she does the leather work there.

Carol and Bill said...

If it makes you feel any better we are supposed to get rain here Sunday and Monday and this has been the coolest year we've ever had here. Very seldom reaches 80.