At 74 Doña Viviana Alávez is the matriarch who presides over the crafting of elaborate, ceremonial beeswax candles that her Mexican village is known for. Doña Viviana is both a trailblazer and the guardian of this timeless artisanal tradition whose origins lie in an ancient wedding ritual.
In the earliest days of this small, Zapotec community, young couples dated in secret. If a family didn’t approve of a match for their daughter, it wasn’t uncommon for a groom to “steal away” with his chosen bride, only for the couple to later return in an act of performative contrition. Armed with presents for the bride’s family and accompanied by a town elder willing to broker peace, the young lovers would lead a large procession of family and friends to the doorstep of the bride’s parents, with everyone carrying one of these stunning, multicolored candles.
Made with Beeswax.