Chulucanas Holy Family

Black Chulucanas Holy Family

This Holy Family is from Chulucanas, a town situated on the side of Mt. Vicús in the northwestern coastal region of Peru. Chulucanas is well known for its rich and ancient tradition of pottery making.  The techniques used today have been handed down for centuries. They were developed during the time of the Vicús culture which was an important early culture in Peru dating back to between 1000/200 BCE to 300/600 CE.

Artists from Chulucanas use natural products found in the area. The local clay is hand molded into the desired shape. Next, the figures may or may not be  painted with a very liquid clay mixed with pigment depending on whether the artists is creating multi-colored figures or brown/black figures. Then the figures are polished with river stones to get the desired smoothness. When fully dry the figures are fired at approximately 1200 to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next the figures they are exposed to the smoke of smoldering banana and mango leaves. This process darkens the figures. The greater their exposure to the smoke the darker they get, ranging from brown tones to black. Then the figures are covered with a thin layer of resin which gives them the  glossiness typical for pottery from Chulucanas.  Finally a finishing wax is applied to give them a brilliant appearance.


Name: Black Chulucanas Holy Family
Artist: Unknown
Country: Holy Family
Material: Ceramic, Clay, Paint
Number of Pieces: 4
Jesus in a manger, Mary, Joseph
Acquired: 2000

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