• Zapotec women in Oaxaca carry fruit in a large guaje balanced on their heads.
  • Guajes have been around for thousands of years and is evidence of the ancient Mexicans’ maximum use of natural resources.

A guaje is made from the dried outer shell of a species of squash that is tall and has a wide base. It is used to store things.


The simplest version is a single piece of the outer shell of a gourd with a hole cut into it. Decorative versions, some even lacquered, usually have a base and a lid.

Michoacán, Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco are the states where guajesare still commonly used.