What is the Significance of Hands in Mexican Folk Art?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked in the shop is, “What is the significance of the hand in Mexico?”

Hand motifs do appear in many pieces of jewelry and religious iconography from Mexico and though there is no absolute answer to the question,  here are a few ideas.

One of the most obvious answers is that the hand is so important to all of us in terms of making things (hand-made), performing, communicating, praying (especially when 90% of the country is Catholic) and in making us human. This is just as true in Mexico as it is in other places.  The heart in the hand (another common image in Mexico) is a traditional folk art motif, associated with the Shakers, the Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It is widely considered to symbolize charity, or to mean something is “from the heart”. Others consider it to represent friendship, love and truth.

The hand motif in Mexican jewelry probably increased after Pablo Picasso’s gift of the silver hand-shaped earrings to Frida Kahlo in the 1930’s or 40’s. She painted herself in them and many nicho boxes and retablos created around Frida’s image contain those famous paintings. Some Mexican artisans make beautiful hand-shaped earrings.

Here are a few pieces we currently have in the shop that can give you an idea…

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts


Contact us for this lovely wooden hand covered on one side with milagros. It is $58 and measures 7″ by 4.35″ wide.

Guadalupe EArrings, Zinnia Folk Arts


This beautiful and amazing carved hand is covered on both sides with milagros. It costs $166 and measures 10.5″ tall by 4.5″ wide.

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts


Our Shop is Open!

Gallery Shop of Mexican Folk ArtMinneapolis folk art shop

Mexican folk art

Folk art shop in Minneapolis

Paper Mache Day of the Dead Folk Art

Minneapolis Folk Arts shop

Zinnia Folk Arts opening weekend

Flores of paper, pinatas

Smiling Charro folk art

zinnia Folk Arts opening weekend

Mexican Chevron urns with lids

Come visit us and put a smile on your face…Celebrate the joy of the great country of Mexico… See the ART in folk art!

We’re open Tuesday-Friday 11-6, Saturdays 10-5

Closed on Sunday & Monday


New Mexican Silver and Alpaca Jewelry

Alpaca jewelry

Click on the photo or here to read more!

Shiny Alpaca or German Silver Handmade Folk Art from Mexico

German silver boxes

German Silver Napkin Rings

German silver earrings

Alpaca Earrings Available in the online shop, click on the photo!

How do you like these alpaca boxes, napkin holders and earrings? These are made of an alloy of silver, called “Alpaca” in Mexico
but also known as nickel silver or “German silver.”
These pieces are lovely, shiny and so much less expensive than silver. AND, they do not tarnish, so no need to use elbow grease.

These are available at GUILD Collective or contact me (with the handy form below) for prices and sizes.

Happy Three Kings Day!

Free Shipping on Mexican Jewelry through Jan 8 For Zinnia Folk Arts Facebook Fans!

January special for Facebook fans only!

Become a fan on our Zinnia Folk Arts facebook page and you’ll enjoy free shipping on jewelry purchases over $50
between now and Sunday, January 8.

Remember, some pieces are one of a kind so first come, first serve…

Check out what’s available right here!

More Mexican Jewelry Gift Ideas

Christmas is right around the corner so, for you jewelry aficionados, here are a few ideas at different prices.

From left to right starting in the top row:

1. Silver Filagree, $75
2. Silver Open Heart with Dangles, $74.50
3. Silver Earrings with Dragons, $75
4. Alpaca Hand Earrings, $18
5. Lucha Libre Mask Necklace, $18
6. Stunning Silver with Pearl Earrings $95
7.  Silver Hummingbird with Red Bead  $70
8. Alpaca Sacred Hearts Earrings,  $18
9. Alpaca Bracelet, Small, $32

If you’re looking for something in particular, be sure to send us a note and we’ll check to see if we have it!

Traditional Mexican Silver Jewelry

These are silver earrings with the exception of the lower right corner. That’s a very long necklace made of nickel silver.

Most people know that Mexico is famous for silver jewelry and most people associate that jewelry with Taxco. Taxco is a mecca for silver lovers–the streets are lined with silver shops. But did you know that there are other cities in Mexico that are home to silver artisans?  Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca and several other towns are home to many men and women who make traditional hammered and filigree silver earrings like their predecessors learned from the Spanish conquerors.  The craftsmanship of these silver earrings is exquisite. Some of them have clips and others are for pierced ears.

To see what we currently have available go here!