Since Cinco de Mayo is here, I decided to learn a little more about this holiday and thought that I would share it with you.  Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a holiday to celebrate the 1892 victory of the Mexican army over the French in the Battle of Puebla.  This battle was one of many during the Franco-Mexican war lasting from 1861 to 1867.  In the United States Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture. 

Over the years people have donated their objects to our collections, and the Museum has made numerous trips to Mexico, bringing back amazing pieces for exhibition and research. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo here at the San Diego Museum of Man, I would like to explore our collections and share some treasures from Mexico that we have in our care.  Please enjoy some images of our amazing collections!

The black and white bowl pictured here is from our extensive Mata Ortiz pottery collection.  This beautiful style of pottery originates from the village Mata Ortiz, located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.  Led by Juan Quezada, this art form has become a unique blend of traditional techniques with modern styles.

This colorful diorama was purchased in Mexico City and later donated to the Museum.  The hand-modeled scene depicts two male devils and one female devil with shelves of plates and cups on the back wall.  In front, there is a mano and metate, a comal over a fire, with twelve ears of corn hanging on roof supports. The blue female devil is making tortillas while the seated black male devil is cooking tortillas, and red male devil is eating the tortillas.

This seated male figure from the west coast of Mexico is estimated to date back to between 200 BC and 100 AD, and is newly acquired, thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Geoffrey Smith.  

Here are links for a few Cinco de Mayo celebrations near San Diego!


Karen Lacy, Collections Manager