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Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s great handicraft centers, with ceramics, woodcarvings, basketry, textiles, and embroidery produced in the city and surrounding villages. Pottery from the region ranges from black-ware vessels to painted kitchenware to whimsical figures.

Josefina Aguilar, from Ocotlan, is one of four sisters who began working in clay as a young girl under the tutelage of her mother, Dona Isaura Alacantara Diaz (d. 1969). Aguilar is best known for her small clay figurines, called muñecas. She uses red clay to create depictions of everyday village activities, religious and folkloric scenes, famous figures, and special Day of the Dead statues.