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Hi, I'm an art teacher based in Washington, DC and am interested in traveling to Mexico this summer to learn more about art and ceramics of the Mayan and Aztec people. I work in a Title 1 public school where some of my students are of Mexican descent. I'd like to be able to bring back into my classroom a better understanding and more creative ideas to my students. In my research to find some kind of professional development experience in Mexico, I thought someone in the Ceramic Arts Community might have a recommendation for me. Thanks for your help.  

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Hmmm...resident Mexican Guinea here. ^_^ Welp, only one problem with Mayan ceramics--the Maya lived in South America, heehee. Aztecs have some COOL relief terracotta stuff!! They carved religious imagery into tiles and stuff--some of it is pretty scary. Nowadays, you'll mostly find scrumptious talavera (maijolica) ware down there, but be mindful of lead!

 

Super jealous of you getting to go! I'm a third-generation Mexican American, and I've always wanted to travel to the Motherland. I don't even speak Spanish, lmao! :D

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Welp, only one problem with Mayan ceramics--the Maya lived in South America, heehee. 

 

The Maya were/are in the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico.   Are you thinking of the Inca/Quechua people?

 

Veronika, I don't have any specific suggestions for you.  But plan your trip regionally.  Mexico is a very diverse and highly regionalized country.  The Aztecs were centred in the Mexico city area and the Maya peoples are in the Yucatan.  If you are looking at the southern end of Mexico, I would check out the Mixtec, Zapotec, and Trique cultures of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero.  Much the artwork of these peoples made during the period of Aztec empire actually made it north to the Aztecs as tribute.

 

The only other piece of advice I have is to know the visiting hours of the museums you want to visit.  A really frustrating part of my trips to Latin America has been that museums were generally closed.  I spent 2 weeks in northern Peru and the museum in Chiclayo (a really big deal, nationally recognized museum the people I was staying with were desperate for me to see) and the local one in Piura (were I was staying) were both closed for the entire two weeks I was there.  Peru's an extreme example of this, but it's a problem I've experienced in most places I've visited in Latin America.

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Thank you, both for responding to my post and for offering your suggestions. I am applying for a grant so since I am feeling frustrated by my lack of being able to either find a program or be able to figure out a way to pull this trip together--I am not sure it will happen at all. Still in the research phase.

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My friend , Dr. Louana Lackey, wrote.a book called the potters of a Atcatlan. It focuses on folk potters and traditional techniques like press molds and coil. she also researched Talavera majolica in Puebla, but that is Spanish Colonial tradition.i believe Atcatlan is in Mexico's central highlands.

You could look at some Pre-Columbiam pottery books.

 

Marcia

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seek out a librarian in the research department of your library.  try someone at the mexican embassy, you are perfectly located to get to someone who has the knowledge you are looking for.  try craft stores in adams morgan or wherever you find them.

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