20.3.12

Sawdust Easter Art: Around Lake Atitlan, San Antonio, Guatemala

                 Alfombras de AserrĂ­n (Carpets made with sawdust)

This Guatemalan tradition, practiced during the Easter season in small villages and large cities alike, is a tradition that dates back to ancient Mayan times. 
Mayans made these carpets, with flowers for the kings to walk on as they made their way to Mayan ceremonies. In the 16th Century, the Catholic church altered the tradition of the alfombra and began to use colorful sawdust to create them.
Here the boys pose with several bags of natural sawdust
The saw dust is colored and cardboard stenciles are used to create the intricate detailed design







The Alfombra de Arracin, traditionally depict scenes from the passion and other Christian and Mayan religious symbols, in preparation for the Easter Season.  Local artist put together these unique works of art in mere hours.  These carpets are then destroyed as celebrants and congregants enter into the church for services. 
It was a really fun experience to watch these beautiful carpets constructed.  The boys had a lot of fun talking to and playing with some of the local children.  San Antonio was one of my favorite towns and the people are some of the nicest we met in a country of really nice people.  
To read about an interesting Czech tradition we saw last year click here
To see an art activity the boys and I did, not unlike this type of artwork, click here
Have you used sawdust in your art?
Do you have a unique Easter tradition? 

11 comments:

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

So colorful & pretty.....what an interesting tradition....& what fun for your boys to be apart of it. Love the photo of the buckets of color!

This makes me think of the Budist sand paintings.

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

How beautiful! While we rarely attend orthodox services, we do crack red eggs and eat lamb with the rest of the Greeks!

Nuit Hernandez said...

these are amazing!

nunu said...

pretty colors!

Clair said...

This is a lovely tradition.
Beautiful, bright, bold colors that really stand out. Impressive!
One question, do you know how the saw dust is colored? Unforgetable experience for all of you.
Thanks for sharing.

Getrealmommy said...

You do the most awesome stuff with your kids. They are so lucky!

Ana Degenaar said...

Wow! I've seen those elsewhere and they were not this artsy. I love it.

Mama Gone Green said...

so beautiful!

mermaid gallery said...

how wonderful and unique to experience such a custom!.....like sand art...it becomes part of the landscape...cool!

Kelly said...

I'd never heard of this...what an interesting tradition! Such gorgeous colors and designs!

Pat Tillett said...

There truly is art everywhere! All we have to do is keep our eyes open! GREAT shots! This is so interesting...

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