“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn’t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.”
Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
Milagros will be open for Christmas on Saturday 12 to 5pm, Sunday 9am to 6pm and Christmas Wednesdays from 5pm to 9pm ( All Wednesdays in December). We have earring, tin decorations for trees, Mexican hot chocolate, Angels, Saint paintings. Recycled Glassware. We are generally open during the week but to avoid disappoint we ask you to call first.
Under £5 – tin decorations, hot chocolate, decorative tiles,
Under £10 – papel picado, tin decorations, tumblers, wine glasses
Under £15 – vases, earrings, tumblers, wineglasses
Under £30 small niches, vases, mirrors, saint paintings.
Mexican Hot Chocolate.
When Cortes met with Moctezuma in 1519. Chocolate was considered more valuable than gold. Moctezuma was confused by Cortes quest for gold.
Chocolate is made from the bean from the cacao tree. It was originally made into a drink by the Mayans and then adopted by the Aztecs. The chocolate drink tasted sour and strong . The taste was made more palatable by adding chillis, anise seed, all spice and vanilla. These flavours are still used in Mexican Hot Chocolate, the only difference is sugar is now added to sweeten it. The discs used to sell the chocolate in 1500 are still used today.
The cacao bean was used for currency and clay beans have been found. It was associated with power and authority. The chocolate drink was reserved for warriors, religious offerings and given to human sacrifice to purify them.
Milagros will be serving and selling Mexican Hot Chocolate in the Winter Months. £2 per cup and a block of chocolate for £4.50.
The Otomi fabrics were born from economic hardship in the 1960. A severe drought in the state of Hidalgo Mexico, devastated the agriculture . Out of necessity The Otomi drew on the artistic traditions. For centuries the ancestral costume worn by the Otomi women were embroidery using floral and animal designs. There was bold use of positive and negative space in saturated colours. The intensive labour required to make these fabrics was not economically viable. The designs were adapted and created more economically viable. A simple design and style was adapted.
The motifs that appear on the Otomi fabrics were believed to be inspired by ancient wall paintings. The depiction of plants and animals and natural forces are similar to the design found on amate paper. These were created by by the Otomi Shamans for thousands years.
As the fabrics have evolved the subject matter has become more diverse. They reflect the history of everyday life of the embroideries evoking a spirit of magical realism and merging the real and mythical.
Milagros sells a range of Otomi Fabrics.
In Shop on
One of Mexican’s longest and most unusual festivals is Day of the Dead. The festival takes place on 1stand 2nd of November. It is a festival that has its beginning in Mexico’s Aztec past with their belief in the cycle of life and death.
On the nights of the 1st and 2nd November the spirits of the Mexican Dead Ancestors return. So that the spirits find their way home each house is decorated with a yellow arch made from marigold flowers. The spirits are left food and water, as they are always hungry after their long journey.
The dead come and join their families for food, drinking, singing and talking. In some parts of Mexico the family spend the whole night in the graveyard. They polish the tombstones and a picnic is laid on the tomb. Often the favourite meal of the departed is made. There are market stalls selling sugar skulls, tombstones, coffins and bread made into bones. Day of the Dead figures are sold.
A cowboy, a skeleton, a bride and groom, a mermaid are all shown as skeletons. The message is that despite riches that we may acquire we are all bones at the end of the day.
In Shop on
This blade is shaped and used by the Clovis people who were the first humans to inhabit the Americas. The blade is 13000 years old. Twenty thousand years ago the stretch of sea between Asia and Alaska, called the Bering Strait froze. Nomadic people could now walk between the two continents American and Asia. Once they arrived on this new continent they found it rich in large mammals such as mammoths. The edges of the blade are so designed/ made to cause a significant loss of blood to large mammals such as mammoths so that it dies through exhaustion.
The nomadic people constantly moving south they moved along the unfrozen corridor between the Pacific coast and the Rocky Mountains. Eventually arriving at the Southern most tip of South America in 12000.They were genetically similarity to the people from North East Asia.Their settlements have been found across the Americas.
The ice retreated and for 9000 years until 1519 they were cut off and unknown from the rest of the world. As for the mammoths they were all eaten.
Milagros is a Mexican shop on Columbia Road’s famous flower market
+44 (0) 207 613 0876