Art and Latin America

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Folk Art of the Andes

Barbara Mauldin

The creative accomplishments of the Andean people of the highland region of South America are prominent among the folk art legacies of the world. This wide-ranging publication, examining over 850 works, is the first to present an overview of the religious, textile, costume, utilitarian, and festival folk arts made in the Andes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, after the Andeans were free from Spanish colonial rule. The author offers an understanding of the development of folk art during the colonial period and shows how much of the work produced after independence reflects the interweaving of indigenous craft traditions with European art forms and techniques. Drawing from the renowned collection at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and other private and public collections in the United States, this book includes religious paintings, sculptures, portable altars, milagros, amulets, and ritual offerings. Traditional hand woven ponchos, mantles, belts, and bags are shown, along with women's skirts, hats, and shawls adapted from the Spanish. Jewelry, wooden trunks, silverwork, majolica ceramics, carved gourds, house blessing ornaments, and toys reveal not only the craftsmanship of the work, but the ways the objects function in everyday life. Also explored are Andean festival cycles with lavish costumes and a variety of masks. With over four hundred color photographs, this monumental book provides a window into the rich spirit and culture of the Andeans.


Barbara Mauldin has been a curator of Latin American folk art at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 1991. She is the author of Masks of Mexico: Tigers, Devils, and the Dance of Life and editor of ¡Carnaval!.


"Surprising and impressive in its depth, geographical and topical scope, and stunning field and studio photography. . . . The author has conducted fieldwork in the Andes as well as extensive library research, and it shows. . . . (She) is to be commended for a beautiful, comprehensive, and affordable scholarly volume that is undeniably the definitive work on postcolonial Andean folk art."


Journal of Anthropological Research

"Takes a comprehensive look at an array of great Andean craft traditions. . . . In lucid, engaging prose, Mauldin delves into the richness, craftsmanship, and multilayered social and cultural meanings of artisan-made objects in a complex, caste-bound world. Along with a wealth of in-depth information, what emerges is a portrait of living folk art traditions that have adapted and been revitalized to flourish with even greater power and beauty today. The book abounds with over four hundred wonderfully detailed photographs, both of individual pieces and of Andean people at work, worship and at dances, pageants, and pilgrimages. . . . Folk Art of the Andes is an invaluable resource to gladden the hearts of collectors, scholars, travelers, and armchair anthropologists."



"This document will stand as the definitive text on the art of the region. Well organized, with fine images. . . . A testament of the creative spirit. . . . One is reminded of the significant role art can play as a physical manifestation of culture."


Raw Vision

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

10 x 12 in. 304 pages 444 color images, 2 maps