Traditional Silver and Gold Jewelry of Pajaritos

Freedom to fly

The City of Guanajuato became famous worldwide for the exploitation of its gold and silver mines. From such a fortune, it is not strange that one of its main craft traditions is derived from such brilliant production.

The jewelry of Guanajuato reached celebrity during the time of the colony to later get lost in the night of the times, because the wars of Independence and the Revolution forced its abandonment in favor of warlike activities. At the end of the sixties of the last century the workshops were reborn and in the eighties new creations acquired, again, national recognition.

This technique has several names with which it is known: Traditional Jewelry of Guanajuato, Mexican Baroque or as it is affectionately called: Pajaritos Jewelry.

It is known as Barroca because it corresponds, in its aesthetic characteristics, with the main artistic tendency that prevailed in the golden age of Guanajuato.

With the background of the Chichimecas, who made striking ornaments, favored by open-air veins; then, before the rise of its gold and silver mines, and also, with the Spanish jewelery tradition that came enriched with Roman, Arab and Chinese influences, the mood of Baroque jewelery was to be expected for Guanajuato.

Even this jewelry tradition is based on a legend. It is said that the Virgin of Santa Fe de Granada, hidden for centuries before the invasion of the Moors, was rescued and sent to Mexico as a present, by the King of Spain, for the new settlers of the generous Real de Minas de Guanajuato. Those entrusted to get the religious image to their destination were lost in the darkness of the night, shortly before reaching the population, but before their prayers the same virgin illuminated her way by the flight of two doves.

Such a prodigy was represented by the nascent goldsmith of Guanajuato. The Virgin, crowned with a pair of "pajaritos", was elaborated with such finesse and charm that since then she was an example to follow.

It is said that this is how a tradition was born whose particular stamp was established in the detail: birds, plants, flowers and curious animals that gracefully adorn: earrings, necklaces, pins and bracelets. In addition to the pieces of ornament and greater dimension that correspond to the goldsmith of the same style.

As we mentioned earlier, at the end of the 1960s, the Casa de las Artesanías de Guanajuato brought together Pedro García Vargas and Juan Guevara, two jewelers without work; the first, although a native of Guanajuato learned the trade in Taxco, Guerrero; the second, descendant of the craftsmen of yesteryear, no longer lived from this labor. Both gathered their knowledge and experiences to give new life to the "pajaritos" (small birds).

Thanks to people like Francisco García Guevara, son of Pedro García Vargas, nowadays the trade continues, the techniques are reproduced, there are new artisans and several stores in the City Center. Jewelry and goldsmiths were reborn and have their buyers, while simultaneously opening new markets through stylized pieces and modern concepts on the same artisan bases that have given Guanajuato unparalleled pride.

¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • In 1541 the first Spanish incursions were made into this territory and the city of Guanajuato was officially founded in 1570.
  • Mining began with the arrival of the Spanish in this region; they established various tunnels and later converted them into mines.
  • According to historical records, it was in 1548 when they began to work the first shafts of the mines in Rayas and Mellado, from which they discovered the famous mother lode of Guanajuato.
  • This vein extended the length of the mountains that bordered the Guanajuatan glens along the north and northeast. As they worked, they left behind diverse mines, shafts, and pitheads.
  • There are various mines in Guanajuato. One of the largest and most famous is the Valencia mine discovered in 1548.
  • Other well-known mines are: San Ramón, La Valenciana, Cata, Rayas.
  • Just to give you an idea: the San Ramón mine was discovered in 1949 by Ramón de Aranda and grew to become 520 meters long and 125 meters deep.
Galería - Joyeria de plata y oro tradicional de Pajaritos

Take a closer look to the Silver and Gold Jewelry of Pajaritos

Joyería de Plata y Oro Tradicional de Pajaritos

Listen about the history of this handicraft of Guanajuato


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