Violin - Tarahumara - Mexico


Purchased in Copper Canyon, Mexico, 1998

Purchased in Copper Canyon, Mexico, 1998


From Graciela's Notes

The scenic train ride through the Sierra Madre Occidental was next on the itinerary. Drove from Mazatlan to Los Mochis, where we spent the night, and up the next morning – very, very early – to catch the 6:00 AM train for the ride through 86 tunnels and over 39 bridges. We chugged along spectacular scenery while climbing from zero sea level (Pacific coast) to 8,071 feet at Creel and then down to Chihuahua at 4,660 feet. The train was not luxurious but comfortable and the scenery changed, from varieties of cacti and fields of sesame seed to pines and gorges. We spent the night at the Hotel Posada Barrancas. What a beautiful and peaceful place and what splendid views of the Urique Canyon. Our hotel was perched on the rim of the canyon where the sheer drop is 6,500 feet to the silver ribbon that is the Urique River and which flows through subtropical terrain. That is what we could see from our balcony. The rooms were without TV – the idea, while here, is to enjoy the scenery and go for walks along the marked paths and admire the beauty. Although Copper Canyon has often been compared to our Grand Canyon, I would not compare them. Each one has its very own natural beauty.

Outside the hotel, the Tarahumara Indian women were selling their wares – mostly handmade baskets that they weave from a special kind of pine tree that has long needles, some nine or more inches long. Couldn’t believe the length of the needles, but it is so, and the baskets smell of fresh pine. Nice!!

The hotel personnel entertained us while we sipped our welcome drinks (Margaritas) during Happy Hour. Lots of songs and dances. The next morning, after we watched the Tarahumara Indians perform tribal dances and a demonstration of their games and races, we drove the few miles to Divisadero. From the Mirador Hotel we saw some of the Copper Canyon which is not one canyon but a series of six that could hold four Grand Canyons. That’s huge!! Urique Canyon is only one of six. Really enjoyed those two days and was excited to be able to buy instruments. The place to stay in Copper Canyon is definitely Posadas Barrancas.

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