Carved Gourd Nativity

Carved Gourd Nativity

Though one might have the impression this nativity has been painted on a gourd, rather the design has been burnt and etched into a gourd. Gathered around the Christ Child are Mary, Joseph, ox and donkey. A light from heaven envelops Jesus. The Magi approach the Holy Family offering their gifts..

This nativity was made using one of oldest and most traditional example of Peruvian handicraft.  After the gourds are harvested, the outer green skin is removed exposing the light tan color underneath. The gourds are then cleaned and dried in the sun. The artist sketches a design onto the gourd with a pencil. Then the artisan carves the design into the gourd and enhances these by using a heated tool burn details into the design. The varying shades of black, orange and brown are due to varying the pressure and time of application of the heated metal tool used in the burning process.

Name: Carved Gourd Nativity
Artist: Unknown
Country: Peru
Material: Other
Number of Pieces: 1
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, animals
Acquired: 2010

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