Download e-book for kindle: Crafting Tradition: The Making and Marketing of Oaxacan Wood by Michael Chibnik

By Michael Chibnik

''It is difficult for me to compliment this booklet sufficiently. . . . it's a significant contribution to the sphere of Oaxacan/Mexican reviews, in addition to financial anthropology and the research of tourism and crafts.'' --Arthur Murphy, Georgia country collage, coauthor of Social Inequality in Oaxaca: A background of Resistance and alter because the mid-1980s, whimsical, brightly coloured wooden carvings from the Mexican kingdom of Oaxaca have stumbled on their approach into present retailers and personal houses around the usa and Europe, as Western shoppers search to connect to the authenticity and culture represented by way of indigenous folks arts. paradoxically, besides the fact that, the Oaxacan wooden carvings should not a standard people paintings. Invented within the mid-twentieth century by way of non-Indian Mexican artisans for the vacationer marketplace, their attraction flows as a lot from intercultural miscommunication as from their intrinsic inventive benefit. during this fantastically illustrated ebook, Michael Chibnik deals the 1st in-depth examine the foreign exchange in Oaxacan wooden carvings, together with their heritage, creation, advertising, and cultural representations. Drawing on interviews he carried out within the carving groups and between wholesalers, shops, and shoppers, he follows the whole creation and intake cycle, from the harvesting of copal wooden to the ultimate buy of the completed piece. alongside the way in which, 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 engaging within the worldwide marketplace, concluding that the alternate in Oaxacan wooden carvings is a nearly paradigmatic case learn of globalization.

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The finished piece is sold in May for 20 pesos to a young man from Arrazola who works as an intermediary for a large-scale wholesaler from Arizona. The Arrazola intermediary ships the carving to the Arizona dealer, who has ordered fifty turtles from the family. At a gift show in San Francisco in August, the Arizona dealer sells three turtles at $5 apiece (about 50 pesos) to a store 16 crafting tradition owner from Portland, Oregon. The carving made in San Pedro Taviche and painted in San Martín Tilcajete is sent from a warehouse in Arizona to Portland, where it is sold in November for $12 to a 30-year-old woman looking for a Christmas gift for a friend.

San Martín men had lost an important market for their products and no longer could easily find artisan-related government jobs. The state had little further influence on the development of the wood- history of oaxacan wood carving (1940–1985) 29 carving trade. About ten men in San Martín, however, had become skilled artisans as the result of government programs. THE FORMATION OF “WOOD-CARVING COMMUNITIES” (1970–1985) At the end of the twentieth century there were four communities—Arrazola, San Martín Tilcajete, La Unión Tejalapan, and San Pedro Taviche—where many families supported themselves primarily through wood carving.

David speaks English well and translated for those members of our group (Andy, Jeannette, and Joyce) who could not understand Spanish. As we drove the short distance to Arrazola, David told us a bit about the scene at Jiménez’s. S. dollars and no carving cost less than $100. There was no point in trying to bargain since prices were fixed. Although the pieces were signed by Manuel, they were mostly made by his sons Angélico and Isaías. Because I knew that many fine Oaxacan wood carvings could be purchased for $30 or less, I wondered if anyone in our group would be willing to buy an expensive Jiménez piece.

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