Saturday, February 2, 2008

Colombian crafts


It should come as no surprise that Juan Valdez, the symbol of Colombian coffee, would be immortalized in crafts as well as commercials and logos. There are many places in Colombia where crafts such as Juan Valdez with his sack of Colombian coffee can be found.

Colombian crafts, which include wooden and ceramic figures, replicas of pre-Columbian gold pieces, clay pots, wall tapestries, leather goods, and other items, can be found throughout the country. I am most familiar with those that are available in Bogota, which was the ancient capital of the Muiscas, the indigenous group that inhabited the region when the Spanish arrived (which also explains the motifs of some of the pre-Columbian replicas). There are several stores, some better known than others, where they can be bought. In the center of the city there is an artisans' center close to the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) where there are several individual vendors. There is another store further north called El Balay that is a haven for foreigners looking for these kinds of crafts.

See my webpage on Colombia at http://www.latinandcaribbeantravel.com/colombia.html

Other websites:

Caribbean Folk Arts Network (Caribfolk) - Caribbean cultural network: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/caribfolk/

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas (Latin American Cultural Roots) - a nonprofit organization I founded in 1991 that presents Latin American cultural shows, exhibits, and workshops: http://www.raicesculturales.org/

Raicesnews - Latin cultural events in the Philadelphia area: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/raicesnews
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