We three Susans always bought T-shirts and stuff with three women on them, but being corn goddesses trumps them all. Though honestly, these blocky-headed broads look as though the weavers were documenting a visitation from The Others, who came in peace bearing corn stalks. Wearing skirts, no less.
They often mispronounce the name even in the airport, certainly on the northern side of the border. “Boarding for Ox-ack’-uh” will come over the loud speaker and it sounds so wrong I don’t even get up.
It’s “Wah-hah’-ka,” derived from the original Nahuatl name Huaxyacac – which I wouldn’t try to pronounce on a dare. The de Juárez was added later in honor of Benito Juárez, one of only two natives of the state who became president of Mexico. (He was the good one.)
Oaxaca’s exotic moniker is a great metaphor for this fantastic city, capital of the state of the same name: it has a distinctly indigenous flavor, it’s complicated, and just when you think you get it — you really don’t.