The Story of Chulucana Pottery

Chulucana Vases Chulucana Figurines Back

Tomb El Senor de Sipan In 1987 a tomb was discovered in Sipan, Peru. It's significance was that it was found intact and untouched by thieves. The National Geographic Society announced this as the discovery of the "Peruvian King Tut"1. The tomb contained more than 100 gold and silver precious ornaments, clothing, and decorated ceramics2. It was hailed as the richest archeological find in the Western Hemisphere. It shed a bright light on the Moche, a little-known civilization that flourished on the northern coast of Peru 1,000 years before the Incas3.

Pots in the TombAt this period in time, the Peruvian Government was activitely attempting to recreate its lost heritage - the Spanish Conquistadores had ruthlessly destroyed all aspects thereof through their ruthless quest for treasure and their destruction of all aspects of "uncivilized" culture. To this end, under the auspices of the Peruvian Government, a small group of young artistic potters, all of whom were decedents of the Moche, formed a village in the vicinity where the tomb was discovered. The seventeen membersai of this new village formed an organization they named "Sanoc Camayoc", which roughly translates as pottery specialists. They named their new village, Chulucana. Historically, the Moche had created one of the richest cultures of the Pre-Colombian world. To them, the making of pottery was not simply forming clay into a desired shape; pottery making was considered a way to communicate with the secrets of the earth and it was a means to give praise to the creative gods of the universe. With this in mind, the stated goal of Sanoc Camayoc was twofold: Moche PotsFirst, to study the style and form of the beautiful ceramic vases discovered in the tomb; Secondly, to attempt to recapture the lost glory of their cultural and historical past through the duplication of that which they studied. Of special interest is the fact that all techniques used in the production of pottery were discovered through trial and error. It is both the techniques of making this type of pottery as well as the actual pottery itself which has brought this village International recognition. In 1992, during Europe's celebration of the 500th year of the discovery of the Americas, Chulucana pottery was selected by various Nations of Europe to represent the art of the New World.

Today, it is the belief of these potters that their making of vases and figurines are an offering to their ancient Gods. In effect, they say, the earth has been good to them by giving them crops to eat and feed for their animals. It is only right, therefore, that they give something back to the earth. That which they give is called, in their Indian dialect, "Mud Jewels".

We call it Chulucana Pottery.

References:1National Geographic; 2Newspaper Announcement; 3Site Pictures;

Chulucana Vases Chulucana Figurines Back