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Spring has sprung and the heats on!

This Memorial day weekend, forget about the corn dogs.  Treat your palette to a south of the border flavor fiesta with the Quick & Easy Mexican cookbook.

All you need is a good cocktail and some good amigos to share the fun. Pick up this fantastic cook book while browsing our great selection of folk art, clothing, jewelry and all kinds of fine hand crafted goods at Nomad in Cambridge.

Baba displays huge traditional-style Fulani earrings

For the past 25 years, Nomad has relied on African traders who pass by from time to time in vans full of all kinds of treasures; masks, beads, jewelry and other fine crafted folk art. One of our all time favorite traders, Peace Core Baba of Mopti, Mali, recently travelled to the U.S. to show a stunning collection of goods at the L.A. Gift Show!

Of his selection, we are most excited to share with you the traditional earrings of the Fulani women of Mali, and the craftsmanship behind them. The finest Fulani earrings are made from pure gold, and wrapped with red silk or wool thread around the wire to support their weight. These elaborate earrings were the Fulani womens’ primary display of her wealth, and were a declaration of financial independence. Historically, these gold earrings were only obtained on her wedding day or upon the death of her mother.  The most popular styles are now made in silver or brass.

Fulani earrings are generally made by African metal smiths.  To make each earring, the artist will heat individual strips of metal, carefully score it, then hammer it into thin blades. While the blades are flexible, the artist will twist the metal into the trademark Fulani earring shape.

fulani pile!

& We now have brass and silver styles available to you at Nomad in all sizes (except for the jumbo ones), all thanks to the artistry of Peace Core Baba!

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The Art & Soul of Mexico tour is well on its way, and while the travelers are enjoying the warmth and vivacity of Mexican culture, we at Nomad are living vicariously through emails and photographs. And we are happy to share them with you here!

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This past Saturday, the muchachas visited La Casa Azul, the home where Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera lived. After the artists’ death, the home was converted into el Museo de Frida Kahlo, and is currently exhibiting perhaps one of its most exquisite and emotional collections yet.

jadeite necklace

fridas rings

The exhibit is titled “Appearances Can be Deceiving: the Dresses of Frida Kahlo,” and displays a wide range of outfits, jewelry, and shoes from Frida’s typical wardrobe. The clothing she wore, viewers can see, helped disguise her physical impairments, as she suffered from polio. But more significantly, the dress represents the culture in which she flourished. The Tehuana pieces are of the most fervor, made by indigenous artisans and symbolizing the matriarchal Tehuantepec society.

frida boots

tough dress

Frida’s closet fully embodies the spirit of the feminist figure and timeless fashion icon. After her death in 1954, Frida’s wardrobe was locked in the closet by her husband, Diego, who vowed it never be opened by public hands at the risk of its contents being ruined. But after his death and a long 59 years, the museum excitedly unlocked Frida’s closet so that fans all over the world may celebrate more pieces of her life.

books

work space

around the grounds

Two years ago, Deb Colburn and Julia Zagar’s annual February Art & Soul trip took them and a group of travelers to Guatemala.  Last year, they toured through Southern Mexico: Chiapas and the Yucatan.  This year, they’re gearing up for their reunion tour from Mexico City  to Oaxaca, in celebration of the first place they led a tour through fifteen years ago.

Along with eating delicious traditional food, sight-seeing in modern cities and archeological cites, going to museums, and enjoying demonstrations from artisans; weavers, ceramicists, painters, beaders and chefs, the gang sure did a lot of what Nomads do best…. shopping!

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The snapshot here shows Deb picking out some beautiful Guatemalan art to bring back for the Nomad store back in Cambridge.  Looking forward to lots more to come from this year’s trip to Oaxaca!  Stay tuned.