Vintage Peruvian Quechua intricately carved gourd


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This is some of the most intricate and detailed carving that I have ever seen. The photographs do not really do this justice as they were taken with a macro lens. The whole gourd is only 9cm in diameter but every cm of it is packed with carvings of people and animals engaged in their daily activities amongst precipitous mountains and tiny villages. Above this is a frieze of a Jaguar, anaconda and macaw with traditional stone buildings / pyramids and a sun and moon.

I think that this is an example of pyrography where the design is drawn onto the gourd using a red hot needle. This leaves the black design against the caramel background colour of the gourd.

These gourds are carved by people in the Andes, particularly by the Quechua people and some of them tell a pictorial story.

An enchanting item and one in which every time you look closely, you see something new.

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