Cultural expressions in Peru have no limits. Whether it be painting, dance or crafts, talented Peruvian artists stand our for their technique and passion for functional, ceremonial and decorative artworks. This is the case for the most important master craftspeople in Peru, whose careers and artwork are admired all over the world.
These Peruvian artists use raw materials such as ceramics, wood, jewelry, stone, fur, glass, tapestries, baskets, carved gourds, imagery, textiles, and many other mediums, to shape their creations and present them to Peru and the world. Among the most important contributors to Peruvian crafts are:
A highly experienced master craftsman from Ayacucho, who specializes in clay artworks. Thanks to his skill in this craft, he has received many awards such as the National Prize "Grand Master of Peruvian Crafts" awarded by the Crafts Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), the National Federation of Craftspeople of Peru (CONAP) and the Institute for the Development of the Informal Sector (IDESI) in 2005.
Gabriel Ataucusi Flores
A craftsman from Ayacucho with over 23 years of experience. He specializes in Ayacucho retablos, which are made for different religious, historic and cultural reasons. His artwork is displayed at cultural fairs all around Peru.
Magaly Luzalde Olivas
Wood carvings are Magaly Luzalde's specialty. Her colonial-style wood carvings are decorated with gold, silver and bronze leaf, as well as polychrome and reverse-painted glass, and are recognized and highly valued by critics.
Irma Poma Canchumani
Born in Huancayo, Irma Poma is known for her work with engraved gourds. In 2017 she exhibited a piece named "Nuestra Ave Fénix" (Our Phoenix Bird) in the municipality of Lima. This work of art tells the story of Lima's municipal theater.
National recognition for crafts
In order to showcase and celebrate the work of Peruvian master craftspeople, every year the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) awards the 'National Amautas Prize for Peruvian Crafts'. This is one of the most important awards that the Peruvian government presents to craftspeople from around the country.
The title is reserved for those craftspeople who, through their work and careers, have contributed to passing on their knowledge to younger generations about the preservation of Peruvian traditions and identity.
Last year, MINCETUR awarded the 'National Amautas Prize for Peruvian Crafts 2017' to Pedro Veli Alfaro, a craftsman from Huancayo specializing in the carved gourd craft line, and to Agustín Alarcón Chávez, a craftsman from Ayacucho who is a specialist in artwork made using wax. Since 2000, the year in which the first competition took place, 30 craftspeople have been recognized, notably from Ayacucho, Cuzco and Junín.
Without a doubt, Peruvian crafts have been and will continue to be one of the most important cultural expressions of the country's people. Through the centuries, they have been influenced by European, African and Asian tendencies, retaining their originality over time. The talent, technique and passion for detail of Peruvian craftspeople are their greatest strengths.