Santo Domingo Tonaltepec



The community of Santo Domingo Tonaltepec is still producing its pottery in the same way as in the pre-Hispanic period. A community, on one hand dubbed to be a clear example of cultural continuity, but on the other hand, an example of a community on the verge of disappearance. The importance of the artifact in a community like Santo Domingo Tonaltepec is that it is part of the social life, it is a witness of the context and its social evolution, it plays an important role in the social fabric that the community belongs to. The artifacts currently however, are quite difficult to market as the community is far away from any major road or market place, which evidently mean far from any chance to export their goods and far chances for their marketing.

In three of the villages of this community the pigments used for the clay come from the bark of certain trees, very rich in tannins. In Río Blanco Tonaltepec, they use oak bark to produce a pigment that is then poured drop by drop over the clay pot or jar while it is still hot from the oven. The liquid crackles by the evaporation of the water over the hot clay surface, and only the red russet color of the tannins remains. Several dimensions are involved in the production of this pottery; the organization of the production, the way distribution is attempted, and, lastly, the product’s final use.

CADA in collaboration with Innovando la Tradición (, is trying to craft customized commercial paths for the artifact’s presence in global markets as well as focus on the new family of products and the dialogue with the artisans behind them.


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