Art historians, anthropologists, and sociologists from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States discuss artwork from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Suriname, and Puerto Rico, and many of their essays focus on indigenous artists. They highlight the complex webs of social relations from which folk art emerges. For instance, while several pieces describe the similar creative and technical processes of indigenous pottery-making communities of the Amazon and of mestiza potters in Mexico and Colombia, they also reveal the widely varying functions of the ceramics and meanings of the iconography. Integrating the social, historical, political, geographical, and economic factors that shape folk art in Latin America and the Caribbean, Crafting Gender sheds much-needed light on a rich body of art and the women who create it.
Ronald J. Duncan
Lourdes Rejón Patrón
María de Jesús Rodríguez-Shadow
Mari Lyn Salvador
Dorothea Scott Whitten
Eli Bartra is a Professor in the Department of Politics and Culture at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco in Mexico City. She is the author of numerous books in Spanish.
In this study, Karin Tice explores the impact of the commercialization of mola production on Kuna society, one of the most important, yet least studied, social changes to occur in San Blas in this century. She argues that far from being a cohesive force, commercialization has resulted in social differentiation between the genders and among Kuna women residing in different parts of the region. She also situates this political economic history within a larger global context of international trade, political intrigue, and ethnic tourism to offer insights concerning commercial craft production that apply far beyond the Kuna case.
These findings, based on extensive ethnographic field research, constitute important reading for scholars and students of anthropology, women's studies, and economics. They also offer an indigenous perspective on the twentieth-century version of Columbus's landing—the arrival of a cruise ship bearing wealthy, souvenir-seeking tourists.