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The artist | by Shawn Harquail
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The artist

Chinchero is a small rural community huddled in the Andean mountains of Peru, and home to an old tradition of gourd carving. Gourds are split in two, emptied, cleaned and sundried until they are rock solid. Once they are ready, men, women, and children alike carve them.


From a very young age, children are taught by their parents to carve ancestral designs inherited from their ancestors. Each generation improves the art and it continues to grow with future generations.


Often, gourd carving is the only source of economic income for them. We purchased one about the size of an orange for 50 sols, about $20CDN, he said it took him about 3 days to carve it. The gourd being carved in this is humongous. That one will be priced at 2,000 sols, or about $765CDN. It will take him 3 months to complete that one.

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Taken on September 30, 2014