Peru boasts one of the largest varieties of arts and crafts on Earth as can be seen from the growing network of exporters.Each year they exhibit the skill of Peruvian craftsmen in Europe, Asia and North America. The diversity, color, creativity and multiple functions of Peru’s folk art have made it a fundamental activity not just for Peru’s cultural identity, but also as a way of life for thousands of families including entire communities, such as Sarhua and Quinua in Ayacucho. You, like millions of people, will be tempted to buy these wonderful and inexpensive souvenirs.
Works of art, both big and small spark admiration among Peruvians and foreigners alike. They are steeped in centuries of history, imbued with pre-Hispanic shapes and symbols merged with others brought over by the Spaniards. Peru has forged a multiple and complex identity which is paradoxically one of the reasons why Peruvian arts and crafts tend to shift towards naive art and lend their works a touch of innocence.
The excellence of Peruvian artisans can be seen in the harmony of the geometric designs in weavings, the minute portraits of peasant farming life on carved gourds called mates burilados and the cultural mestizaje or blend in the colorful retablo boxed scenes. There are also finely carved Huamanga stone sculpture, the complex Baroque nature of the Wood Sculpture, the beauty of gold and silver relics and the many forms of pottery shaped from clay.
These works are just some of the cultural manifestations of people who communicate mainly through art, using a language whose fundamental aspects are abundance, fertility and confidence in the future.