Through the workshop History, Art and Identity, the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) attends the physically challenged persons putting them in contact with cultural heritage. This workshop focused on the visually impaired sector.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), through its National Coordination of Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC), imparted this course to 11 members of Comite Internacional Pro-Ciegos (International Pro-Blind Committee). They visited the INAH Replica Workshop, where specialized ceramists guided them in the process of creating 2 sculptures based on Prehispanic figures.
One of them was a little pregnant woman figure found in Tlatilco, Estado de Mexico, and the other, a Teotihuacan articulated figure. The group learned modeling and casting techniques, as well as how to use tools and different states of clay.
The group knew the different Prehispanic techniques touching replicas such as Pakal mask, a jaguar head-figured Zapoteca urn, a Mexico Western Culture dog sculpture and a Maya sculpture of an old man in a seashell.
INAH restorer Gabriela Patterson is in charge of the workshop from where other self-management projects have derived from, such as a Northern Veracruz women doll production workshop, with the aim of helping high vulnerated population to revalue cultural heritage.
Today, cultural heritage main deterioration agent is human activity. Restorers need to go to communities to build new meanings, to generate among them a sense of value and respect, to encourage cultural goods conservation, she declared.
Unfortunately, sight loss is growing in our country. Many people at the Committee were affected by accidents or illness like glaucoma, which is growing due to its relation with health problems such as diabetes.
The International Pro Blind National Committee has a rehabilitation center located in Santa Maria la Rivera, Mexico City, and has one of the largest Braille libraries in Latin America. Patterson conducts several activities with the committee, such as textile techniques and plastic expression workshops.
INAH Replica Workshop experience is a complement of this work. Antonio Rosales, in charge of Production, mentioned the workshop is divided in 3 spaces, ceramics, jewelry and silversmith, being the ceramic one the largest.
Pieces based on historical items part of INAH heaps are handcrafted. Our duty is to copy every sign of passing of time of each piece, commented the responsible of the workshop located in Culhuacan, Mexico City.