Crafting Communities in Oaxaca
"Crafting Communities in Oaxaca: Drawing Inspiration from Ancient Artifacts" was a two-day event featuring workshops, a live demonstration and exhibit hosted by Lacey Carpenter, Ph.D. Student in Anthropology and winner of the Rackham Program in Public Policy grant, and LACS. For generations, the Fabian family from Oaxaca, Mexico has created alebrijes, whimsical wooden figurines. The pieces are inspired by nature and archaeology. The Fabian family uses traditional carving techniques combined with pre-hispanic design motifs from the ancient settlement outside their village of San Martin Tilcajete. Focusing on the intersection between art and archaeology, these pieces are the product of a collaboration between the community of San Martin Tilcajete and University of Michigan researchers. The Fabian family assisted in the excavation and analysis of archaeological artifacts from the site in their village. They have drawn inspiration from this experience to create a series of alebrijes celebrating the pre-hispanic design motifs found on artifacts recovered from ancient Zapotec houses. Through their pieces, they combine traditional woodcarving techniques with ancient motifs in an innovative celebration of contemporary, historical, and ancient art from Oaxaca, Mexico.