Monday, September 21, 2009

Crafting Maya Identity

An exhibition of carvings by the Maya artisans Miguel Uc Delgado, Jesus Marcos Delgado Ku, Angel Ruiz Novelo, and Wilbert Vasquez, guest curated by Mary-Katherine Scott and Jeff Kowalski.

Although the technically refined and visually complex carvings of the Puuk region of Yucatan are often described as handicraft or "tourist art", it no longer seems appropriate to tag them pejorative connotations associated with such terms. Rather, they provide important information regarding how a relatively recent artistic "tradition" emerged in and responded to a particular context, and communicates significant messages about the changing nature of Maya cultural identity, and how such identity is constructed, represented, and understood by both the artisans themselves and tourist visitors in the context of cross-cultural contact and global interconnections. 

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