water is poured into huge storage jars...


The pottery of Tlatzacualpa his is a village with no running water, just a well in the center of town. Every morning, like a pre-sunrise ritual, the men and boys load their donkeys with four clay jugs (815) each and go to the well to fill up. Back home the water is poured into huge storage jars (813) for use through the day, and cooking is done in pots like 806, 807 and 818.

Two very unique forms that are made in this region are the jica (801) and the animal jug. The jica is exceptional because of its three leg base. This type of base was common 1,000 years ago but has all but disappeared. This pot serves as a colander and is used for washing corn kernals in the process of making tortillas. The animal jug, 816, is also an ancient design, although the bull motif can't be more than 500 years old as it was the Spaniards who brought cows to the Americas. This piece is actually a canteen, the spout is in the middle of the back, and two rings are also fixed to the back for attaching a carrying strap.

The fact that this village is located in the heart of a mountain region of villages with no running water has been the fuel behind the pottery production here. When pumps and pipes find their way into the mountains the pottery will start to fade away.

Copyright © 1995-2001 Tony and Eric Mindling