Crafting Tradition: The Making and Marketing of Oaxacan Wood by Michael Chibnik

By Michael Chibnik

''It is tough for me to compliment this e-book sufficiently. . . . it's a significant contribution to the sector of Oaxacan/Mexican reports, in addition to monetary anthropology and the examine of tourism and crafts.'' --Arthur Murphy, Georgia country collage, coauthor of Social Inequality in Oaxaca: A historical past of Resistance and alter because the mid-1980s, whimsical, brightly coloured wooden carvings from the Mexican country of Oaxaca have stumbled on their method into reward outlets and personal houses around the usa and Europe, as Western shoppers search to hook up with the authenticity and culture represented through indigenous folks arts. mockingly, in spite of the fact that, the Oaxacan wooden carvings aren't a conventional folks artwork. Invented within the mid-twentieth century through non-Indian Mexican artisans for the vacationer industry, their attraction flows as a lot from intercultural miscommunication as from their intrinsic inventive advantage. during this superbly illustrated publication, Michael Chibnik deals the 1st in-depth examine the overseas alternate in Oaxacan wooden carvings, together with their historical past, creation, advertising and marketing, and cultural representations. Drawing on interviews he carried out within the carving groups and between wholesalers, outlets, and shoppers, he follows the total construction and intake cycle, from the harvesting of copal wooden to the ultimate buy of the completed piece. alongside the best way, he describes how and why this ''invented tradition'' has been promoted as a ''Zapotec Indian'' craft and explores its similarities with different neighborhood crafts with longer histories. He additionally totally discusses the consequences on neighborhood groups of partaking within the international industry, concluding that the alternate in Oaxacan wooden carvings is a nearly paradigmatic case examine of globalization.

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Extra resources for Crafting Tradition: The Making and Marketing of Oaxacan Wood Carvings Joe R. and Teresa Lozano

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The website includes photographs of the angel and the artisans at work as well as a brief text linking Oaxacan wood carvings to ancient Zapotec Indian religious ceremonies. (5) A 30-year-old Arrazola woman runs a small business in which hired workers make wood carvings. She sells a brightly painted wooden rabbit for 60 pesos to a man from Teotitlán del Valle, who takes wood carvings introduction 17 and other Oaxacan crafts on a truck to Matamoros, a Mexican border town across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.

The couple eventually buys a wooden deer for $200 that has been made by the sons with cedar sent from Guatemala. The piece is signed by Jiménez and the sons. The couple takes the deer home, where it is prominently displayed in their living room. (3) A man steps out of a truck filled with copal and knocks on the door of a wood-carving family in Arrazola. He is from a community about 20 kilometers from Arrazola where copal is abundant. The family members use the wood they buy to make elaborately curved, beautifully decorated lizards that can be hung on a wall.

Serrie reports (1964:33a) that Manuel had little contact with his neighbors aside from money-lending and did not let them see his carvings. Even as late as the mid-1960s Manuel Jiménez was the only artisan in the Oaxaca area earning a significant amount of money from wood carving. The market for the craft was limited to a few stores in Oaxaca, and no other carver had Manuel’s skill, energy, and contacts with intermediaries. This situation slowly changed for two reasons. First, Train and de la Lanza grew weary of dealing with Jiménez and encouraged other artisans to take up history of oaxacan wood carving (1940–1985) 25 wood carving.

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