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Quinchamalí potters collect raw material for their patrimonial clay – La Discusión

More than 3,700 kilos of bovine guano were collected by potters and potters from Quinchamalí and Santa Cruz de Cuca, an essential raw material to cook the pottery without the use of any type of oven, as indicated by the traditional crafts that are part of the List of Urgent Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco.

Along with the clay, horse guano and various clays must be stored during the summer, when they are dry, in order to shape ornamental and utilitarian pieces such as guitar cases, pigs, trays, plates, jugs and mates, among others.

“We are collecting ox guano, if we do not have this raw material we cannot cook earthenware, then we have to collect horse guano for dyeing. I have to collect 30 sacks for the season. We are hot, but in high spirits because we love black art”, said the potter from Quinchamalí, Inés Guzmán. “This help is super good, because in Quinchamalí there are few cattle pastures. The horse one is easier to get. It is a fundamental raw material for cooking,” added potter Joel Sanhueza.

The forest fires last February burned the guano available in one of the farms closest to Quinchamalí, from where the community obtained a large part of the bovine guano. For this reason, coordination between various public services was generated so that the artisans could collect in another place, this time in the commune of Chillán Viejo.

“We thank the owner of Fundo Nebuco for facilitating our entry and donating the guano to the pottery community of Quinchamalí and Santa Cruz de Cuca. As Seremi de las Culturas, las Artes y Patrimonio we provided the transport of the 236 sacks that the artisans and their families were able to collect in one day. However, this work does not end in one day, we have a commitment as a State with Unesco and we will be permanently looking for ways to collaborate so that cultivators have their raw materials and thus can continue practicing this intangible heritage of Ñuble and the country”, emphasized the Seremi of the Cultures of Ñuble, Scarlet Hidalgo Jara.

“It was possible to develop this work to obtain a very important material such as bovine guano, which was reduced by forest fires. Thanks to the support of the private sector, we were able to coordinate this activity together with the Prodesal program team of the Municipality of Chillán. We hope to continue supporting Quinchamalí pottery, which is the identity of the sector, and we call on private individuals who can help us with this raw material to contact us,” declared the regional director of Indap Ñuble, Luis Chávez.

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