Retablos which depict histories, costumes, and folklore of Peru. Handmade, traditional, colorful retablos with and without frames and mirrors, ornaments, decorative accessories.
Amalia Palomino Jimenez (Quechua) and her family from Ayacucho, Peru, have made retablos for generations. These intricate constructions are important traditional Andean folk art, depicting scenes made up of clay figures displayed in wooden boxes. “We make ornaments featuring traditional festivals, Andean cosmovision, and the daily activities of the people of the Andes,” Amalia explains.
“My grandfather was recognized as a great master of the retablo ayacuchano. He made retablos and crosses. My mother learned this art in the workshop, helping to model and paint. In 1988, my whole family, including my grandfather and my parents, moved to Lima because of terrorism and civil unrest led by the communist militant group Shining Path in Ayacucho,” explains Amalia. They now make retablos in Lima to earn a living and to share the beautiful traditional craft.
To make a retablo, the family “sculpts and polishes the wooden boxes, then we paint the background and frames. Each piece of the retablo is made with dough that we prepare in the workshop, combined with plaster. We check the texture of the dough to see if it’s ready or not, then proceed to make each figure. Later we paint each figure, and once they have dried, we place them in the box with glue.”