From my travel diary, January 2019:
By accident or by destiny. One week we arrived in Tarapoto, North of Peru.
Me and S. were so tired of sleeping kind of rough that we decided to book an airbnb to rest properly. Nevertheless our night of sleep was amazing but the real wander was meeting the owner of the house.
The Peruvian alway- smiling-middle-aged lady was coming in and out of the house to do her laundry and other stuff. Normally you will be annoyed as you are paying a rent to have some privacy, but her presence was so cheerful that reminded me of home, like a sweet friendly auntie.
With my improvised Spanish I asked her some advices to make my laundry and I don't know how we ended up speaking about indigenous people and their art. She was so passionate about it and soon I understood she is actually blood related to a Pueblo Indigena in the Amazon. There, alongside her sister, she is actively working to preserve the language, the art and culture. She is part of the Chazuta community.
She starts explaining me the meaning of every drawing in the traditional ceramics and embroidery. I could not contain my happiness I hugged her. That what was I looking for.
On the following day, Senõra Rossanna and her Hermana brought us to the Pueblo of Chazuta. Due to the hidden location in the jungle, there is basically zero tourism in the village and the locals - mainly women devoted to the art - are scared their tradition will get lost over the years. To make their pottery they use specific soil from their sacred river, and their own hair to make brushes in order to draw on it.
To keep the tradition alive, the woman of the village are teaching the ancient Chazuta language to the kids, and giving them free pottery classes. Keen to keep the old alive - they realise the importance of new influences to arise too.
I decided to homage them drawing their flowers and plants iconography - with a bit of a twist . Hope I will tattoo one of those soon.