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Coco strikes a chord in Paracho

“Coco” has now brought its craftsmen global fame and booming sales
Local artisans have given the traditionally black guitar a Day-Of-The-Dead twist by painting the instrument white and adding a cartoon of the traditional Mexican skull on its front - Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP
13/01/2018
13:54
Reuters
Paracho
Josue González
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Pixar’s hit film “Coco” has struck all the right notes in the tiny Mexican town Paracho, home to the traditional Mexican guitar made famous in the movie.

Nestled in the western central highlands of the Sierra Madre, Paracho is seeing a boom in guitar sales following the worldwide success of “Coco.”

The film follows a boy who accidentally finds himself in the land of the dead during the Mexican celebrations for the Día de los Muertos. Central to the plot is the boy’s trusty Paracho-style guitar.

The 16th century-style guitars have been a way of life in the town of 30,000 for centuries. According to legend, a priest with the original Spanish conquerors decided locals in the village should be taught a craft to support their economy.

Paracho soon gained fame as Mexico’s capital for the manufacture of stringed instruments, and “Coco” has now brought its craftsmen global fame and booming sales, artisans said.

The film, released by Walt Disney Co’s Pixar, has grossed more than $550 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It ranks as the highest grossing movie in Mexico ever.

Costs for the hand-made guitars range from around MXN$2,000 (USD$ 104) to those made with fine wood that fetch up to MXN$20,000 (USD$ 1,042).

Due to popular request, local artisans have given the traditionally black guitar a Day-Of-The-Dead twist by painting the instrument white and adding a cartoon of the traditional Mexican skull on its front.

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