FURNITURE
of the Mercado Area
equipal chair Central Mexico's ancient Indians produced a kind of wood-and-leather furniture they called icpalli. Today the sturdy, modern descendants of this furniture, now often made with pig leather, are still produced in Michoacán, Jalisco, and Colima, and known as equipal furniture. An equipal chair is shown at the right. Equipal furniture is often found in middle-class, traditional-minded Mexican homes. Equipal furniture is only occasionally found in the mercado area. In Jalisco more than twenty towns produce this furniture, the traditional wood used being mesquite.

Most visitors to Mexico consider Colonial-style furniture as being "typically Mexican," though Mexicans refer to it as Spanish. French-style as well as modern furniture is produced here and there throughout Mexico. Construction centers for Colonial-style furniture are located in Mexico City, Taxco, Puebla, and Jalostotitlán, Jalisco.

Favored native woods for Mexican furniture making are:

cedro.........Spanish Cedar (Cedrela mexicana)
caoba.........Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
primavera.....Springbells (Tabebua donnell-smithii)
ayacahuite....Mexican White Pine (Pinus ayacahuiteI)

At Amazon.com you might enjoy reviewing the books Mexican Interiors and New Mexican Furniture, 1600-1940 : The Origins, Survival, and Revival of Furniture Making in the Hispanic Southwest