Sunday, August 30, 2009

Guaitil Chorotega Pottery

Guaitil pottery, also called Chorotega pottery, is popular in Costa Rica. It is one of the few artistic traditions that survive from pre-Columbian times in Costa Rica. Chorotega is the name of the pottery, and Guaitil is the village where it is made.

Guaitil is a pottery village about a half hour inland from Tamarindo. Around the town square, which like many mall towns in Costa Rica is a football or soccer field, there are a dozen or so workshops of artisans who make and sell the pottery. There are about 100 families who have formed cooperatives to make and sell pottery. Some of them combine their workshop and store with their house. People can walk from shop to shop and admire the goods, but also watch the pottery being made.

This artisan is shaping a pot. Most Chorotega pottery is shaped into pots, bowls, plates or animals. Often a short stub of a three-legged tripod is attached to the bottom of plates to make them stand up off the shelf or table. The pottery is painted in earth tones.

Chorotega pottery may be purchased in shops in Tamarindo or elsewhere in Costa Rica, although buying directly from the artisans and watching the pottery being made in Guaitil is more fun and interesting. Some guidebooks have said called the Chorotega pottery in Guaitil as the most authentic aspect of pre-Columbian culture that remains in Costa Rica. I will explain the reasons for that tomorrow. Don't worry, I will also show some finished Chorotega pottery as well in the days ahead.

Today is Sunday, so my wife and I have posted a new series of photos on our Viva la Voyage travel site. Last Sunday we showed some photos from an old seaside village on the outskirts of Casablanca, so this week we showing some photos of people in modern Casablanca.

5 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

I love pottery - it would have been fun to watch the potter so his work!

JM said...

This is a great portrait, David!

brattcat said...

This is so interesting, Dave. Thank you for introducing us to a contemporary artisan following in the footsteps of pre-Columbian ancestors.

Sharon said...

The interesting information on the pottery. I love this photo of the artist at work.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

excellent portrait Dave. The information is good also. It is nice to learn about some of the ancient traditions continuing. I look forward to seeing some of the pottery.

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