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They Never Come BackA Story of Undocumented Workers from Mexico$
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Frans J. Schryer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453144

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453144.001.0001

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“Struggling to Get Ahead”

“Struggling to Get Ahead”

(p.26) 2 “Struggling to Get Ahead”
They Never Come Back

Frans J. Schryer

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the craft production that provided the inhabitants of the Alto Balsas with a viable alternative to migrant labor from around 1950 to the mid-1980s. Originally, craft production was mainly for home use: women made jars for holding water and pots for straining the lime water used to soak corn. Men made firecrackers used in religious celebrations, or burned wood to make charcoal. Some of these objects were sold or traded in neighboring towns. In the early 1950s, young men in the town of Ameyaltepec started to experiment with painting designs on various surfaces, to create something to sell to outsiders. Other forms of craft production were also initiated or invented; some villages specialized in making masks, others in carving wooden figurines or decorating gourds, clay ashtrays, and bowls.

Keywords:   craft production, migrant labor, jars, Ameyaltepec, paintings, wooden figurines

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