Seeing Red In Oaxaca

The Most Passionate Color In This City

GE McKerrihan


Opening of a banana blossom showing an interior of bright red.
“Surprise, The Red Is On The Inside” — Image by Author

Oaxaca de Juarez is a city full of bright color. Every imagined hue is on bright display. If Paris is the ‘City of Lights’, then Oaxaca is the ‘City of Colors’.

Today I chose to feature the color, Red. It is in the trees, plants, and flowers. It is on the walls and in the windows. It is in the clothing worn by the locals.

One cannot cast an eye far without seeing red. It is a testament to the passion of this thriving city.

The banana blossom above opened to reveal the stunning red inside. The red was a wonderful surprise to my eyes. I love that it was waiting on the inside all along.

Sculpture of a gold man holding a red heart with gold wings.
“ Gold Man, Red Heart” — Image by Author

I have walked by this open doorway often. There are women’s clothing shops to the left and right. I have never been inside either, as I figure they don’t have my size.

I also think this golden man holding a large red heart with golden wings, is a draw for the women patronizing these two shops. I know he catches my eye, and heart, each time I walk by.

To me he represents the myth and magic, that is seen throughout this magical city. He also represents the love and heart I see everywhere in this golden city.

I do not know the symbolism surrounding this mystery man. Perhaps he is a part of Oaxacan folklore. Instead I make up my own stories. And you don’t want to know the stories I make up, trust me.

Broad Agave leaf full of drying red blossoms.
“Agave Leaf As Container” — Image by Author

Flame tree blossoms held in the shallow bowl of an Agave leaf. Seems the perfect symbiotic relationship. One beautiful species holding the gifts of another beautiful species.

Perhaps a relationship of convenience, though I feel it goes much deeper. I see it more as loving one’s neighbor. Looking out for one’s neighbor. Protecting one’s neighbor.

Perhaps it is all of these. And then again, perhaps it is none of these. I cannot say I will ever know for sure. And for…



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.