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Peruvian Traditional Arts and Crafts, Part 2 of 2

2022-02-02
Lingua:English
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Peruvian crafts illustrate just how rich the nation’s traditions are. Their artworks have developed into an effective means of communication and transfer of knowledge both within the community as well as between generations, long before writing was developed. Through art, the Peruvian people preserved information and wisdom on topics such as abundance, fertility, and faith, for future generations. According to Dr. Diana McDonald from Boston College, USA, Nazca pottery vessels reveal a lot about the skills and religion of the people who created them. For example, a pot decorated with the orca-people communicates a message about the religious and social systems of the people from the south coast of Peru, as well as their spiritual beliefs. Orca-people were revered as mythical creatures thought to oversee the availability of water.

Nowadays, Peruvian handicrafts combine a variety of cultures, including ancient Inca, Pre-Hispanic, Asian, and others. This mix of cultures can be found in colorful boxes called retablos. Ayacucho retablos are decorated with tiny human figurines, animal-people from the highlands, images of Christian saints, pre-Columbian gods, stars, mountains, and other natural scenery.

Surviving examples of early Peruvian textiles show a sophisticated production process, from collecting raw materials, making the yarn, coloring it, preparing the design, and finally making the product itself. The woven fabrics are some of the finest to be found anywhere in the world. Icons in the form of animal-people and plants provide evidence that textiles were the main medium of communication for the Andean people. This method of expression and communication through textiles has continued for more than 4,500 years, with some outstanding examples from the Chavin, Paracas, Ocucaje, Nazca, Chimu and Inca cultures. A highly developed textile culture reflects the skilled craftsmanship along with the great energy and devotion of the artisans, whose work reflects devotion to their faith. This fascinating textile art and culture continue today in the local community around Lake Titicaca.

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