There is a big variety of handcraft items made in Ayacucho. It represents a mixture of
the Spanish Colonial art with the indigenous style. In these days the techniques developed
by these artisans are well known.
Outstanding the very famous "Retablos", "mates burilados",
textiles, carved stone (from Huamanga), ceramics, silver ware, and "Tablas de Sarhua.
Also called "cajas de San Marcos o de San Antonio" (Saint Mark or Saint Anthony
boxes). The Spanish artisans were the first in creating them as a result of the need to
have an altar where they could worship their Saints during their multiple voyages. Since
the XIX century they were not only carved for religious purposes, but also to recreate
daily scenes from their common lives.
The actual retablo is made of wood, with one or more horizontal floors, and with two big
doors decorated with vivid colors. Inside, there are many little human figures in
different scenes of their life.
Pre-Inca handcraft. Made with empty squash shells, used to carry food or drinks. The
Spanish artisans carved figures instead of the geometrical figures the indigenous carved.
The images they carved were taken from real life situations.
Ancestral industry. Developed for more than three thousand years by these artisans. The
indigenous were experts in this art. During times they had acquired modern techniques that
improve their textiles. Nowadays, are well known and commercialized all over the world.
Made with natural materials and dyes. They use alpaca and sheep wool. Creating sweaters,
blankets, ponchos and carpets.
Piedra de Huamanga
Stone extracted from a city called Huamanga, close to Ayacucho. Harder than clay, but less
than marble, has a certain kind of transparency. The artisans carve the stone creating
very beauty images; it is considered as one of the most important art features from
It is another art characteristic that counts with more than three thousand years in
Ayacucho. People from Quinua, a little town near
Ayacucho, are the best artists that develop this work. The most common representations are
the churches that are set on top of each house all over the region, as a tradition. Also
important little bulls, candle holders and plates with traditional colors and decorations.
Silver Ware and Filigree
The abundance of this metal in the region allows the development of this art. Since
Colonial times, creations of extraordinary beauty had been done, from very little jewels
to big ones.
Santa Ana is a neighborhood in which you will
find the most important artisans that work in silver.