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In this informative and spectacularly photographed volume, Mo Fini and Lucy Davies have drawn upon their extensive research into the traditional handicrafts of South America and the artisans who create them. Combining historical perspectives and cultural insights with descriptions of present-day techniques, the authors examine the full range of this vast area's indigenous arts and crafts: contemporary pottery inspired by ancient cultures, such as the Moche; jewelry and metal work in a multitude of forms; enduring textile traditions of the Wayuu, Aymara, and Kuna Indians; painting on clay, leather, and glass; wood carving and decoration of dried gourds; and other extraordinary crafts from around the continent.
Full-color photography illustrates each of the crafts described, and a comprehensive reference section offers detailed advice on collecting and conserving these native treasures.
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Davies and Fini, who run the TUMI Latin American Arts and Crafts Centers and reside in England, have taken on the gargantuan task of covering native arts, past and present, for all of South America in this slender volume. Simplistic and uncritical, their text is most successful when descibing contemporary artisans, traditional motifs, and techniques. Chapters investigate textiles and costumes, jewelry and metalwork, basketry, hats and bags, and pottery. Illustrations, particularly the 169 color photos, help to enliven the text, while a reference section offers advice on collecting, sources, a glossary, and a short bibliography. This is a passable overview for collectors and travelers, but research collections will be better served by a variety of more focused studies such as Laurie Adelson and Arthur Tracht's Aymara Weavings: Ceremonial Textiles of Colonial and 19th Century Boliva (SITES, 1983).?Russell T. Clement, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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