Candle making in Teotitán del Valle

The town of Teotitlán is known for its carpet weaving and is located in the Mexican province of Oaxaca, one of the great areas of folk art in the world. The name Teotitlán comes from the language Nahuatl and means “land of the gods”. The city is very old, it was founded in 1465 by the indigenous population of Mexico, the Zapotecs. Making candles is a younger craft that came to the country with the Spaniards. The use of beeswax, from which the candles are made, existed before the Spaniards subjugated the country. The Zapotecs did not make candles out of the wax, but offerings for their gods.

In Teotitlán there is no festival without the colorful candles, whether it is religious holidays, family celebrations or other matters. Each candle has a special occasion for which it is bought, and you don’t buy a candle here without knowing what it is for. Be that as it may, you’re a tourist.

The candles are made entirely by hand and the girls are introduced to the art of making candles by their mothers or grandmothers. But not every girl is allowed to learn this craft, usually it is only one in every family.
Special, funnel-shaped moulds for making flowers are dipped in liquid, warm wax, then immediately dipped in cold water and detached from the mould. With a knife, petals are carved into the shapes.
Velas del Concha is actually called shell candle. 30 small candles can make one candle maker a week, depending on the size, the production can also take two weeks or 6 months.