Los Dominicos – Santiago Chile December 23, 2009
Los Dominicos is a artisan market in Santiago, Chile. It’s a standard stop-over for tourists doing the rounds but also for Chileans wanting to sift through the variety of arts and crafts represented. I had never been so today I decided I would check it out for myself. I was surprised by the amount of shops, honestly I had imagined it as just some quiet tourist trap where some cheap arts and crafts would hang out waiting for that innocent but ready to spend anything on anything tourist to buy them. But it was actually far more interesting, and for me the scene itself was the most impressive. Built around an old church and with hacienda style courtyards, Los Dominicos works its way through a labyrinth of small and medium size shops – each with their own unique craft (of course there is some overlap).
Below is photo I shot of Marco, the local Mapuche representative. The Mapuche are an indigenous group in the southern lake region of Chile. He sat drinking his Matte tea, a traditional herbal tea in South America and explained the meaning of various symbols and Mapuche relics, such as the Kultrun, the circular symbol on the flag behind him. This symbol holds a book of meaning, however Marcos told me that “it basically signifies fertility”.
I spent alot of my time at Los Diminicos making friends with a young kitten. It was a bit odd but there were two pet stores – definitely an interesting business to have here considering the majority of people to come through Los Dominicos are from out of town. I would have to think the last thing you want to bring back home on a plane would be a cat or dog. Regardless, this was one cool cat.