Located 11 kilometers away from Oaxaca City, San Bartolo Coyotepec is a village famous for its barro negro pottery, a pottery style local to the state of Oaxaca. The barro negro (black mud) production has existed in the state since centuries ago and many items were found in many archeological sites such as Monte Albán. The name Coyotepec comes from an ancient langauge, “Coyotl” (coyote) and “Tepec” (hill).
At San Bartolo Coyotepec, items of pottery are handmade and they are created in underground ovens. Once extracted and shaped, they remain under the sun for four days. Then, they are carved and left under the sun once again for them to dry before polishing them. Once again, they are left under the sun. Afterwards, they are put into ovens and the next day, they are ready for sale. Some popular items creating using barro negro are flutes, masks, animal figures and more.
There are many workshops scattered throughout the village and one of the most famous is “Doña Rosa”, owned by the sons and daughters of a lady of the same name who popularized the craft and whose handcrafts are now part of the village’s museum (El Museo de Barro Negro de Coyotepec). At the workshop, you’ll be able to see the process of pottery making as well as many photographs of Doña Rosa.