Casa del Venado Azul
A bed and breakfast, botanical garden, art gallery, academy, and workshop all in one.
Casa del Venado Azul is a factory, school, musical instrument shop, lodging place, and center for spiritual journeys. This multipurpose center offers pre-Columbian musical instruments, classes in Chichimeca culture for children, workshops in the construction of pre-Columbian musical instruments. There is also onsite a traditional steam bath or sweat lodge, temazcal available with prior reservations.
In 1992, Luis Castro opened the doors to La Casa del Venado Azul as a place to give space to his research and his creativity. As he told El Financiero in 2017, Castro wanted to dedicate himself to “the preservation or enrichment of Mexican culture, music, dance, Pre-Columbian style instruments.” Artists like Carlos Santana have asked for special pieces.
These instruments are made out of materials including stone, wood, calf skin, and tortoise shell. These are used to craft make traditional and hybrid instruments such as the Huehuétl or the Teponaztli (drums), the Chicahuaztli (rain stick), and the Tlapitzalli (flute), among others.
The most special instrument Castro has designed was a flute made out of a human femur. He had read that Mesoamerican ancestors made a similar instrument for ceremonial purposes. When he heard its sound he discovered that it was very special instrument. The flutist Horacio Franco was the lucky one to own it because he would take advantage of it. Luis did not sell it, but exchanged it for another, in a significant musical exchange.
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