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Nancy Barragan | Museo Belber Jimenez

Oaxacan filigree jewelry that continues to inspire

Oaxacan filigree silver jewelry is distinctive for its incredibly delicate and ornate design, which places this regional Mexican art form in its own totally unique, widely celebrated category. Oaxacan artisan, Nancy Barragan Bautista, was born into a dynasty of these fine jewelers. Her father, Abel, was a renowned master of the craft who taught his daughter the art of Oaxacan jewelry craft with its traditionally meticulous techniques.

Many of Nancy’s earrings feature depictions of finely articulated flowers or birds, coupled with gently abstracted elements, and sometimes complemented with colorful stones. All of her artwork belies intense concentration and a deep reverence for her craft. Silver filigree was introduced by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Over hundreds of years, however, indigenous Oaxacan artisans introduced their own cultural traditions, forging a mesmerizing blend of old European styles with regional influence. Though in ages past, filigree jewelry was reserved for special occasions, today its unique beauty appeals to a broad audience.

Nancy first was drawn to making her own creative impact at ten years old, when she began studiously watching her father create silver jewelry in his workshop. Little by little, she learned the intricacies of design and craftsmanship that distinguish Oaxacan jewelry from other styles. Over the decades, Nancy has created her own distinctively beautiful style endearing her to customers not only in Mexico but around the world.