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CRAFTS: One More Reason to Visit the Cusco

11 August 2016

In Cusco are important traditions, Andean and colonial, folk art cusqueño is of undoubted quality, especially in manifestations such as imagery, textiles, silverware and ceramics.
The imagery is an activity that has given international fame to the cusqueños artisans. Virgins, saints, children "Manuelitos", angels and Christ coming out of the hands of popular artists are usually made from maguey wood, glued cloth and plaster, based on techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation for several centuries.

San Blas is the district that concentrates the most renowned sculptors, who continue a tradition that goes back at least to the nineteenth century. Artisans settled in the neighborhood indeed carved custom many of the images that until now are venerated in churches throughout the department. Furthermore, as have the sambleños blooded, these artisans also produce different toys marketed in the Santurantikuy, the Christmas fair held every December 24 is carried out in the main square of the city. His specialty was especially small images of saints parading in traditional feast of Corpus Christi.

The most original and better quality textilería is sheltered in rural areas in provinces such as Calca and Urubamba or other even more remote from the departmental capital. Using as raw material the alpaca or sheep wool dyed with vegetable dyes almost always, right-handed knitters cusqueñas create sophisticated designs based on pallaes, ornaments with a variety of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic fitomorfos. Looms go back many times to the pre-Hispanic tradition and are usually tied to the waist of the weaver. The garments are usually made chumpis or belts, ponchos, chullos, llicllas (shawls) and queperinas, those fabrics that women use to carry their babies or different products. Sunday Pisac and Chinchero fairs are the most appropriate places to buy quality fabrics, but you can also get in some shops in the city of Cusco.

Cusqueños silversmiths are skilled in making jewelry, for religious worship and various utilitarian objects, produce all that differs advantageously from the mass-produced by pouring molds and stamping because it is made by hand, piece by piece, and often using techniques that date back to pre-Hispanic tradition, such as embossing and hammering.
Using molds sketched in clay that is mixed with hairs of alpaca and cuy, these artisans also continue producing objects of widespread use among the ancient Peruvians, as tupus, those pins with a richly ornamented head with zoomorphic motifs and fitomorfos .

Cusco pottery is undergoing noticeable changes in recent decades, probably under the influence of tourism demand. The communities of Raqchi in Canchis, and Cuyo Grande Cuyo Chico near Pisac, are the seat of traditional production, specializing mainly in utilitarian objects, but also in some very peculiar that are in demand among tourists, such as salamanders raqchi , vessels shaped bottle topped with a motif of zoomorphic motifs.





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