living with art

jicara1 Lacquered jicara, Unknown Artist. Contemporary, Mexico. Private Collection.

Dried rinds of gourds have been used by many cultures around the world as a versatile utilitarian vessel; for storing food articles and condiments, as drinking bowls,as well as resonators for musical instruments. These gourd vessels are immensely popular in Mexico, but here, the love for colours and artistry has translated these humble vessels into objects full of life and expression. This art of lacquering gourd vessels traces its history to an ancient time, even before the arrival of the Spaniards. Although, the technique and style have absorbed many new ideas since then, but the vibrancy and vigour of these lacquered or painted vessels is unmistakably true to the soul of Mexico.

Gourds or the fruits of the calabash tree, as said earlier, are used for making vessels from time immemorial. The local and popular term used for these gourds is jicara

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