Tag Archives: Jujuy

CLAY AND LIVING CULTURE IN THE NORTH

Learn about the secrets of artisanal pottery and get your hands dirty with the red-colored clay of this enchanting northern town.


Placed in the north-west and almost in the middle of Jujuy province, we find the colorful town of Purmamarca, embraced by the well-known Hill of the Seven Colors. In one of its many mud houses lives Maby, a local artisan that invites us to learn her pottery techniques.

Maby has been a clay artisan for many years and knows a lot about modeling and decoration with local pigments and materials. She is happy to share not only her craft knowledge but also her culture; believing that there is nothing more moving and rewarding than creating something with our own hands.

She warmly welcomes us to her home and workshop to teach us the whole artisanal pottery process, which -according to her- requires enthusiasm and patience.

First, we learn every step to prepare the material that we need to model with, from mud to clay. Then, Maby shows and helps us with the modeling technique to create a small original pottery piece by ourselves, such as bowls, plates, cups or decoration items. Once we’re done, she will take care of the final touches to dry and bake the piece for us.

You can take a piece of art that has been made by someone else and that is already finished. Yours will stay in Purmamarca until the whole process is complete and will be taken by another person that visits Maby some other time after you.

It is not a simple workshop, but the experience of sharing stories, knowledge and techniques of an art that has been alive from our cultural roots. In Maby’s own words: “you will take an indelible memory of my Purma; a space of living culture!”  


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Difficulty: intermediate. No previous experience required.
  • Duration: 2 hours.
  • Min. 2 pax required.
  • Indoor activity. No smoking allowed.
  • Includes materials, apron to protect your clothes, a piece made by someone else as a souvenir of this experience and a snack.
  • Recommendations: bring hands cream, comfortable clothes and shoes.

 

Northern Carnival, an eccentric celebration

One of the most beautiful popular festivities in the Northwest welcomes visitors from everywhere into a cultural experience of rituals and tradition.


Every year between February and March, Roman Catholic countries around the world celebrate carnival before the liturgical season of Lent. But there’s no carnival celebration like the one in Humahuaca Gorge in Jujuy. A colorful, noisy and joyful mix between the Spanish conquistadors inherited traditions and the Pachamama (Mother Earth) rituals of our northern native people.

Courtesy Secretaría de Turismo de Jujuy

The celebration begins the weekend before Carnival. Troupes from the surrounding towns arrive in Tilcara for the “devil’s” disinterment: a small doll (pucllay) in the shape of the devil that symbolizes the sun, responsible of fertilizing the soil (Pachamama). Then, the troupes and its musicians and dancers in colorful and bright costumes begin the parade through the streets, marching and dancing to the rhythm of traditional music. People gather and join to celebrate, dancing and drinking until sunrise.

After a week of rejoice, on Carnival Sunday celebrations end with the devil’s burial at the same place where all began. Until next year, the devil will rest under ground along with alcohol, coca leaves and cigarettes as offerings for the Pachamama.

Courtesy Secretaría de Turismo de Jujuy

An event where religious faith and paganism merge. Popular rituals and myths, fireworks and costumes, dancing and drinking, music and tradition. Anything goes for a week of fun and eccentric celebration; an unforgettable cultural experience.

If you’re planning a trip to Argentina’s Northwest, we recommend visiting Humahuaca Gorge in Carnival. Contact a Kallpa Executive for next year’s date!