Sawdust never looked so good

31 Mar

Art, colour and passion aren’t words I would normally associate with sawdust. However that was before I visited Comayagua during Semana Santa.

This year the Easter tradition of creating beautiful sawdust alfombras (rugs) through the main streets of Comayagua celebrated its 50th anniversary. The alfombras are made by families, community organisations and church groups.

They work through the wee small hours of the morning, before the sun rises on Good Friday, to complete their masterpieces. By 9am hoards of locals and tourists alike descend on the town to view their spectacular efforts.

I couldn’t pick out just one or two photos to share with you, so I decided to make a whole gallery. If you click on each image you’ll be able to read a brief caption.


It was a great day (although stinking hot) and I really enjoyed wandering the streets and admiring the creative and colourful alfombras. We went to another town for lunch, and by the time we returned to Comayagua all the sawdust had been swept up and cleared away.

To me, it made the whole day feel a little magical, and that the sawdust was akin to fairy dust. Rather than imagining Tinkerbell and co.’s involvement, I probably should have been reflecting on more religious themes, but I have always been prone to flights of fancy.

Although I don’t think you need to be religious to appreciate the time, effort and artistry that went into each alfombra. They were an impressive sight and I’m thrilled we were able to visit Comayagua during this special time.


62 Responses to “Sawdust never looked so good”

  1. LMaya March 31, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • honduranhiatus March 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      No problems. 🙂 I’d read about the alfombras before I came to Honduras, so was really excited to see them in person.

  2. Things You Realize After You Get Married April 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    That is so cool! Such vibrant colors and detail!

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      They were wonderful, but also made me wish I was a better photographer!

  3. Helen Devries April 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I was at Comayagua two years ago on Good Friday and saw the sawdust carpets…including one protesting about the oppression by the new government that had taken over in a coup.
    You missed the processsions….Jesus, Mary, Veronica, Mary Magdalene…the floats carried through the streets preceded by men with poles to lift up the electricity cables to let the statues pass..people applauding when the statue of Jesus bowed to His mother as the processions met…and the square alive with music of all sorts from Strauss to the girl from Ipanema while stands dispensed rumpope and food of all sorts.
    The highlight for me…at night at the deposition, seven tiny girls dressed as angels and carried in sedan chairs embodying the seven last words….

    Nomatter what the state of Honduras, I intend to go again.

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Thank you for your descriptive comment. Unfortunately the battery in both my camera and my mobile ran out just as the processions started.
      We returned to town to watch the second procession that evening. It was a four-hour procession. I was amazed at the stamina of those who were bearing the large (and very heavy) floats.
      I saw the tiny girls dressed as angels too. They were gorgeous.

      • Helen Devries April 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

        What a shame for the photographs…still…you’ll never forget it!

      • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

        Yes, definitely an experience to treasure, photos or not… although I’m still kicking myself for forgetting to charge my camera before we left Tegus!

  4. TheWordpressGhost April 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    It is nice that wordpress actually posted one Easter themed blog …. They did post another almost Easter theme ….

    Makes me wonder if they appreciate any ascetics ….

    Beautiful artwork! Isn’t it amazing what so many artists around the world can do? Even if they do not get as much recognition, or fame, or money?


    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      It’s certainly been a very different Easter for me this year compared to what I’m used to back home in Australia.
      I was amazed by the beautiful artistry of the alfombra makers. So much time, care and effort… and then in a few moments, it’s all gone.

      • TheWordpressGhost April 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

        But, isn’t that the same with each of our lives?


      • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Very true.

        We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us…

      • TheWordpressGhost April 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

        I always wonder how the next 10 generations will look back upon us?

  5. xdanigirl April 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Those are gorgeous!!! I loved them!!! It seemed kind of sad that all that hard work disappeared after a few hours.

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      I know! I felt a little sad too. Although I have to admit that my favourite photo taken on the day is the one depicting the shoes walking through what remained of the alfombras.

      • xdanigirl April 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

        I love how the colors get blended together in that picture. It feels like they are making a new picture that tells what happened later that day. If that makes sense.
        I really loved all of the colors in those pictures though! I love how such a majestic and beautiful creation comes out of something as simple as sawdust, pop corn, and coffee beans!

      • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

        The eggs surprised me the most! So inventive. I’m not particularly creative so I was constantly surprised by the different formations made possible with such ‘everyday’ materials.

      • xdanigirl April 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

        I think the pop corn surprised me the most. That’s something that I wouldn’t think to use. But that pop corn lamb looked real enough to eat! Lol. Bad joke sorry.. But the lamb did look pretty neat. And the egg border was very inventive!!

  6. segmation April 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    What beautiful colors and fun of the Easter Week celebration! Did you have a favorite part of the celebration?

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      That’s a very good question. One of the things I enjoyed the most was watching some of the alfombras being made. It was a facinating process. The overall atmosphere of the day was great too. There were big crowds, but the mood was festive even though I thought the hot weather might have made people cranky. 🙂

  7. Harlequin Tea Set April 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Amazing stuff! Have you ever seen Kolam, which is an Indian art of using powder to make patterns? Slightly similar and also pretty!

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      No, I’d never heard of Kolam before. I’ve just done a quick Google image search and it looks amazing. Such intricate patterns!

      • jaajaabor April 3, 2013 at 5:05 am #

        I was about to comment in the same vein . In north india , colored sawdust is also used in making rangoli’s which are similar to these and sometimes have intricate details.

      • honduranhiatus April 3, 2013 at 7:57 am #

        I had never heard of rangoli before. From looking at the links other commenters have provided, they would be an amazing sight to behold too.

  8. Saunved April 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    This is utterly wonderful!

  9. sketchjay April 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Such a great post! Thank you!

  10. My Camera, My Friend April 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Not your typical sawdust. What a great bit of culture, thank you for sharing!

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      You’re welcome. I’ll never look at sawdust in the same way!

  11. urbantraveltales April 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Amazing patterns,look laborious and a lot of people work together, it seems, for this ‘streetart’ that lives for a short time. From your photos and the desciption it is worth experiencing! Did know about it, thanks for sharing.

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

      It’s definitely worth a visit to Comayagua if you’re in the area over Easter. It was a fascinating experience.

  12. Another Clean Slate April 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    Found you on Freshly Pressed. Thanks so much for sharing these incredible images!

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

  13. devilhunter309 April 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Nice post

  14. acoriginals April 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    This is absolutely stunning! Beautiful!

    • honduranhiatus April 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      And my photography skills really don’t do them justice.

  15. moodsnmoments April 3, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    beautiful post.

    in india, many communities create wonderful designs from coloured rice grains or coloured flour or coloured saw dust on a daily basis. we call it ‘rangoli’ here.
    have taken the liberty to send you a link displaying pictures of it, hope you like it.


    • honduranhiatus April 3, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      They are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. Something for me to look out for if I ever make it to India.

      • moodsnmoments April 3, 2013 at 10:15 am #

        yes pls…india is full of colour and arts. it is very vibrant with enough and more to experience… 🙂

  16. bhuwanchand April 3, 2013 at 5:04 am #


    A similar art form in India is called Rangoli – its to welcome guests to our home by way of decorating the area outside the main with traditional pattern & designs using Flowers, Rice flour, natural and chemical colors. This is done more elaborately on some festivals and in . There is a website dedicated to this art form

    • honduranhiatus April 3, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      Thank you for the link. They are gorgeous. There’s so much beauty to be found in so many different cultures.

      • bhuwanchand April 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

        🙂 Happy exploring…

  17. andy1076 April 3, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    This is awesome! who would of thought you could do this much with sawdust lol! thank you for sharing this 🙂

    • honduranhiatus April 3, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      You’re welcome. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      • andy1076 April 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

        Very much did 🙂

  18. Connor Moir April 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Reblogged this on CFD.

  19. D. Walling April 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    These are stunning! I lived in Honduras for a year during my last year of high school but I never had the chance to see these done. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    • honduranhiatus April 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      Honduras during high school would have been an interesting experience I’m sure. Glad I could show you another side to this wonderful/crazy country.

      • D. Walling April 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

        Initially high school was a tough transition for me coming from Chile, but I can say I have never felt so welcomed in a school setting. I made friendships there that I still hold dear today, 13 years later! Wow time flies!

  20. OyiaBrown April 7, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  21. avi3k April 7, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Very nice share. thank you for sharing

  22. Zane Wylde April 8, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Reblogged this on pci compliance and commented:
    great place to see!

  23. Michael Pincus April 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on football tickets and commented:
    cool shots!


  1. Freshly Riffed 26: Shapely, Seductive, And They’ve Got A Gun | A VERY STRANGE PLACE - April 3, 2013

    […] Sawdust Never Looked So Good: Dude, you have the weirdest fetishes. […]

  2. Sawdust never looked so good | Nicole Spaner - April 24, 2013

    […] Sawdust never looked so good. […]

  3. One year later… | Honduran hiatus - June 11, 2013

    […] my birthday Mexicatracho style …suffered through the ‘Honduran hurl’ …marveled at rugs made of sawdust …experienced a wild and crazy electrical storm …stomped around a coffee plantation in the […]

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: