Community, Culture

Make your own Chorotega-style pottery from home

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On Saturday, October 24, the Namu Nekupe project (which means Little Sky in the Chorotega language) presented its workshop video explaining how to make pottery pieces from Matambu, the only indigenous town in Guanacaste.

The project is the brainchild of Ezequiel Aguirre, Gladys Mora and their family. They welcomed us in a pavilion made of palm leaves with chicheme (a traditional drink made from purple corn), achiote chicken and local crafts.

In this same pavilion, students from the National University’s tourism program at the Guanacaste campus helped them record the step-by-step process of making a piece of Matambu’s pottery.

“Mr. Ezequiel wanted to make the workshop video to teach people and youth from the community how these artistic pieces are made, to try to foster in them this love for culture, for crafts,” said Joseph Garcia, one of the students who worked on recording the workshop.

In addition to the video, they presented a digital catalog with all the products offered by the project.

The workshop video was one of 38 projects in the province that won special grants from the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s Creative Scholarship Fund, an economic stimulus for developing small-format cultural projects in light of the COVID-19 health emergency.

Ezequiel hopes that this boost will “take them out of anonymity,” as he believes there are people in the area who still don’t know about the work they’ve been doing.

“[We want] to let people know what we do in Matambu, which are purely indigenous things, with indigenous materials and with indigenous authors, so I believe it has added value. Let people know that we know the ins and outs of our culture. We have the knowledge that our grandparents handed down to us and its ultimate goal is that this is not going to fall apart,” added the Matambu native.