Folk Art

Category: Education

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Dominican Republic Government and development agencies are encouraging arts and crafts Some campesinos are involved in retaining their heritage by continuing to create pottery for household use and as a decorative art Ceramics include: lamp bases, vases, ashtrays, nativity scenes, decorative plates, candle holders, and doll-making Woodcarving out of biguero/calabash tree into lacquered purses, rounded mulatto faces, fish, Spanish maracas, and guiros (a merengue instrument) Weavers use local fibers including palm leaves to make baskets, straw hats, hammock ties, floor mats and rugs Jewelry-making with amber, larimar, seashells, tortoiseshells, bone and coral


Cuba Gigantic paintings in strong primary colors are rendered by artists on limestone caves. Prehistoric paintings have been found in these caves and the rock painting serves to highlight their existence


Belize Garifuna – formerly called Black Caribs, descend from the Carib Indians and Africans in the eastern Caribbean in the 18th century Fight the influence of the British and Americas Much of the craft industry is for tourists Many of the traditional crafts have been revived or maintained and many new ones have been developed Mayan weavers make baskets, bags, and hammocks Carving – materials include the nut of the cohune palm, coconut shell, and slate Ceramics – motifs from nature and Mayan art Musical Instruments – Garifuna and Creole drums Dolls – adult black women dressed in their finest clothes or performing a domestic task Mennonites – wooden furniture


Ecuador PANAMA HATS – Most famous craft which is made in Ecuador not Panama. They got the name in the 1850’s when gold miners returning from Central America to New York mistakenly said their elegant straw hats came from Panama. They next came to notice of the public when U.S. soldiers wore them at the end of the 19th century. They are made from toquilla straw, which has to be boiled and dried before it can be woven. A good Panama, or superfino, takes three months to make and will cost $1,000 in Paris, London, or New York, yet the weavers receive only a tiny fraction of that sum. The end of the 150 year tradition may be in sight as the hats are declining in popularity.


Ecuador Weaving and the textile business which has become a large’scale buisess with factories and electric looms that produce hundres of pieces a day is key to the success for the Indigenous group - Otavaleño Producing - Ponchos, tapestry wall hangings, embroidered blouses, dresses, gloves, socks, blankets, caps, belts, shawls, scarves, capes, and bulky sweaters Hammocks and baskets are sold by the Cayapas or Chachi indigenous group near the coast Baskets and clay pots are made by the Amazon people: the Shaur people make ones with fine, intricately decorated geometric designs. The Canelos women make ones with designs depicting aspects of their life and mythology


Peru Retablos are wooden boxes filled with brightly colored figures arranged into intricate narrative scenes of religious, historical and everyday events important to the indigenous people of the highlands of Peru."Santero boxes" originated in Europe and came to Peru with the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century. Before bringing them to Peru, the boxes were used as portable altars by medieval travelers and pilgrims and were carried by soldiers into battle during the Crusades. In Peru, they were used by the Spanish evangelists to teach the Catholic faith to the native "infidels". The costumbristas depict the traditional festivals of the indigenous people such as Holy Week in Ayacucho, the branding of the bulls, bullfights, the Dance of the Scissors, the hunting of the condor, and Nativity crèches. They also depict scenes from daily life such as craftsmen weaving, making hats And musical instruments; market scenes and healing ceremonies.The testimonials tell the story of the social and political changes that the Ayacucho region has suffered in the last fifteen years. One of the most common themes is that of terrorism, showing scenes of slaughter of peasants, armed fights, the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) guerrillas, and the army.


Bolivia Weaving is central to life in Bolivia Native American families weave their own cloth, designs and patterns have particular significance to the family, community, or the gods Ponchos Dark maroon to wine colors are for daily use, black for mourning, and bright stripes for fiestas Different regions have different styles: Potolo weavings depict birds like the Andean condor Candelaria weavings are decorated with designs of tiny horses Good weavings are prized: Traditionally they were given to the Inca emperor, and today they decorate statues of the village patron saint. Young women who make fine cloth are sought after as brides, as their skills are highly valued.


Paraguay Handicrafts of carved bowls, plates, furniture, and other items. The woods of the dry Chaco are hard with a fine grain. Some are very dense, and some have subtle colors. One, the quebracho, meaning “ax breaker”, is extremely hard. Ñanduti – is lace made by the women of the town of Itaugua. The art was brought from Spain, but the designs are mostly Paraguayan. Most of the women of the area are working in this trade. Women’s head coverings or Mantillas and colorful tablecloths and napkins are some of the items these women create.


Chile Handicrats: pottery, baskets, carvings, weavings Arpillera – a plain piece of cloth onto which scraps of material are embroidered to create pictures and patterns. They were first made by a group of women whose men folk had been persecuted by the military regime. It was a way of earning some money and of protesting against the government. The idea caught on, but now everyday scenes are equally popular. A good one can take up to a year to make. Mapuche Indians add to their income by making finely crafted silver jewelry, pottery, and hand woven ponchos, sweaters for sale in the local markets Chilote Island people (Chilotes) – women weave blankets, ponchos, socks, and scarves for the markets


Mexico As Mexican eat, dress, play, or pray they use replicas of the crafts used by their ancestors Ancient Indian traditions are still followed Pottery major activity, done by hand, without a wheel. Weaving done on a back strap loom. Clothing Huipils – long embroidered dresses; long blouses; quexquemetls or ponchos; capes Wool Spanish influence by introducing sheep Serapes / blankets and rebozos / shawls


Mexico Local crafts are sold in bustling bazaars and street markets everywhere in Mexico.


Nicaragua Passed down from the Nicarao Indians Weaving, Macrame – knotting strings and ropes for decorative designs, Hammocks, Ceramics Musical Instruments: Marimba - like a xylophone, Maracas, Chirimia – like a clarinet Recent development: Mural Painting – show political messages and historical events


Venezuela Forest Woods are used to make handicrafts including carved models of birds, fish, and other animals for the tourists The Moriche Palm is used to make baskets by the Warao people. They dye the fibers with extracts of nuts and seeds and the bark of various trees.


Colombia Tribes of the Choco – make baskets, and etch designs on gourds that are used as containers, carve figurines, make flutes and drums Pasto patterns – an art form practiced by the Pasto Indians, a pasto lacquer is a fine, very glossy, and hard-wearing layer that is applied to painted goods, such as wooden pots, tabletops, and stools. A natural resin the material is prepared from the fruit of the mopa-mopa, a plant of the same family as coffee. The sticky kernel of the fruit is chewed until it becomes a black paste, then spread into very thin sheets that are laid on the object being decorated. Patterns are then cut out of the paste, allowing the colored paint underneath to show through. The paste sticks firmly




Brazil Red Clan Warrior by Neival Lima Countryside by Elenice Spotted Jaguar by Marcilio Barroco Devil by Marcilio Barroco


Brazil Enjoying the Music II by W. Lima Happy Childhood by Ricardo Siccuro


Puerto Rico Shaped by Taino, Spanish and African heritage and American influence Masks: Veigante – made from coconut or wood for Lent originally in shape of devil’s head to scare local people into repenting, now made in shape of animal heads for tourists Tatting: Twine patterned together to have a lace like effect. Hammocks (orginally created by the Taino people) are decorated with it. As a border it is called mundillos. Done in northwest coast in Aguadilla. Traditianal pava hat worn by jibaros is also made there. Musical Instruments: Tres, cuatro, seis – guitars with 3, 4, and 6 strings percussion insturments – quiros (rattle), claves, guiro Saint Carving: santos – every family owns many, every saint in Christianity represented on the island Leather working learned from the Spanish serves tourist industry


El Salvador Folk art plays a central role among the Indians Musical instruments, pottery vessels, stone sculptures, architectural ornaments, and jewelry are from ancient Mayan craftsmen Ilobasco famous for its intricate ceramics and sorpresas, tiny clay figures and nativity scenes hidden inside walnut-sized oval shells Nahuizalco specializes in basketry San Sebastian’s known for colorful hammocks and other woven textiles made on handmade wooden looms


Costa Rica Remnants of Pre-Colombian artifacts are scarce Carreta / Oxcart: best-known example of Costa Rican folk art Colorful designs (geometric patterns, starburts designs, black and white accents, intricate flowers, leaves, vegetables, faces, landscapes) and brightly painted wheels, originally used to transport coffee beans over the mountain roads for export at the ports. The journey took 10 to 15 days. During the rainy season carts would get caught in the mud. People made a solid wheel without spokes. A wife of a cartmaker in San Ramon decorated the first carreta around the turn of the century. The idea became a popular custom.


Honduras Mayan artifacts Common crafts: Small wooden or claw hollow animals such as chickens, pigs, dogs, macaws, and other birds that are brightly painted and have intricate designs. Another version of it is as a bank that has to be smashed to get the money out of it. Vases, handwoven grass bead baskets and laundry baskets Garifuna weave a special sleeping mat from a long, slender grass called nea. Woodcarving has been made into a fine art with furniture such as coffee tables, mirror frames, and trunks taking on deep-relief carvings of the village streets, flowers, and marine life All social classes are involved in making arts and crafts for gift giving


Panama Influences come from Spanish, African, North American, and West Indies. Much of the oldest and riches art might be buried at sea when Columbus had four ships sink carrying treasures to Spain. Molas / Cloth – Cuna Indians make beautiful intricately appliquéd panels. They have been making them for hundreds of years. Today used for blouses, cushions, and wall coverings. Layers of cloth are basted together. They cut away some sections to reveal material underneath and add pieces to it. Buses – Panamanians purchase yellow school buses from the U.S. since WWII and turn them into wonderfully decorated modes of transportation buried under layers of paint. They paint long images such as a mermaid, a panoramic scene, or a dragon on the side of the bus. The rear door is where the artist devotes most of the time, it is the heart of the the work.

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