Glossary

 

Amate: A special bark paper made and used by pre conquest indigenous people for manuscripts, paintings and codices. Made from the bark of a ficus (fig) tree.

Andean: Indigenous peoples living in, and near to the Andes Mountains; the Andean region stretches from modern day Ecuador to northern Chile.

Vintage Mexican Tree of Life - Arbol de la VidaArbol de la Vida: Tree of Life. A popular motif used in a variety of Mexican folk art techniques.

Bargueño: a six paneled portable desk with a hinged drop front and pigeonhole drawers. 

Bas Relief: a sculpted carving in which parts of the surface are removed to create a two dimensional plane.

Bastidor: a carved santo with a cage shaped base made of wooden slats, designed to be covered by stretched cloth. Bastidor is the Spanish word for 'frame'.

Batea: a hand carved and hand lacquered tray, manufactured primarily in Olinala and Uruapan.


Botija: a bottle or pot, used primarily for the fermentation and transport of mezcal.

Burnished: to polish.

Jicara: a gourd, usually hand painted and lacquered.

Cobalt: a hard metallic element -- used as an additive for blue glazes and enamels in talavera pottery.

Chango: a monkey shaped ceramic container. Manufactured in Oaxaca for the storage ofVintage Ceramic Chango's - Mezcal Monkeys. Oaxaca.  mezcal -- an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of the maguey (agave) plant.

China Poblana: (Chinese Pueblan) is a traditional style of Pueblan dress (a white blouse and colorfully embroidered dress) that became fashionable in the 19th century by Pueblan woman. In the 16th century a young Chinese girl named Mirrha was brought to Mexico in servitude and left her mark on the traditions of the region with her unique style of clothing.

Chuspa: a bag or pouch – in Andean cultures, used for the storage and carrying of coca leaves.

Coco: a coconut. In Mexican popular art, usually in the form of a hand carved bank.

Corona: a crown.

Cuzqueno: Peru, Cuzco school.

Demanda: A handled box, dish or container for alms donations.

Encarnacion: a technique of applying realistic flesh tones through the layering of polychromy.

Enconchada: Encrustation with mother-of-pearl. Often, mother-of-pearl was glued to a support and then painted with opaque pigments to create images. Enconchada paintings and screens (biombos in Spanish) were popular products of artisans in 17th and 18th century New Spain.

Escudo or Escudo de Monja: Literally, a shield; also refers to a circular plaque, usually about 9 inches diameter, and often painted and embroidered on both sides, worn by nuns on their chests. In English, 'Escudo de Monja' are also called 'Nun's Badge'.


Spanish Talavera Especiero - Spice TrayEspeciero: spice tray / spice dish.

Espiritu Santo: The Holy Spirit.

Estofado: A technique in which polychromy is layered over gold leaf and then partially removed to reveal the underlying gilding.

Estribos:  stirrups.

Ex-voto: a devotional painting on canvas or tin which offer thanks to a particular saint in the form of a short narrative.

Mexican Ex-voto PaintingHuamanga Stonea soft and pure form of alabaster marble unique to Aycucho, Peru. Huamanga stone has been mined since the early colonial period and is still used today as the base medium for religious figures and stone fetishes.

Huipil: a traditional blouse or tunic worn by the indigenous Mayan women of Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

Limosnero: A box, dish, tray or container for alms donations.

Loteria: a popular early 20th century Mexican lottery game, much like bingo, in which markers are placed over square illustrations to complete horizontal and vertical lines. Loteria was played on hand painted tin or paper cards (oil and watercolor) with colorful illustrations depicting various animals, musical instruments and sometimes religious iconography.

Vintage Maximon Figure - GuatemalaMaximon: (San Simon) a popular Guatemalan folk saint venerated in the highlands of Guatemala.

Metraca: a rattle or noisemaker, used during Holy week, or religious festivities.

Mezcal: an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of the maguey (agave) plant.

Milagro: religious folk charms cast in silver, cut from sheet metal or carved from wood. A
 petitioner, usually suffering from some type of ailment, could offer a milagro to help a patron saint perform a miracle.

Nacimiento: a nativity, a creche.

Nicho:
a niche - in retablo, art, a recessed frame used for the display of a retablo.Antique Mexican Nicho - for a retablo painting

Nimbus: a halo, a disk or ring encircling a sacred image.

Night pattern: a painted 'star' pattern used in Tlaquepaque Pottery.

Oracion: a prayer. In colonial art - a painting with an inscribed prayer.

Pato de Gallo: a type of sophisticated dovetail joint used in colonial furniture.

Popotillo: a mosaic painting or portrait composed of straw and paper.

Pulque: an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of the maguey (agave) plant.

Rayado: incised, a technique employed by lacquerware artisans.

Red Bole: a red sienna tinted gesso primer used in the 19th century for retablo paintings.

Relicario: a reliquary.Relicario / Reliquary

Repousse: a technique in which metal, often silver, is shaped from the reverse side.

Rebenque: a type of whip used by the gauchos of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Rebozo: a long cotton, wool or silk utilitarian cloth, traditionally worn as a head cloth, or as a sling for children.

Retablo: a devotional oil painting representing a madonna or saint, usually painted on tin, zinc, wood or copper.

Resplendor: radiance of light around the head of a saint.

Retrato: a painted portrait.

Mexican SerapeSaltillo Serape: a woven blanket from Saltillo, Mexico. 

Serape: a woven Mexican blanket or fringed shawl worn primarily by men. 

Serviletta: a utilitarian cloth used by the Mayan people of Guatemala.

Sgraffito: a painting or carving technique in which the surface is scratched, revealing a different surface or texture. 

Sombrero: a traditional Mexican high hat with a wide brim and conical crown, made of plush felt or hand caned ixtle fiber.

Tabla: a retablo painted on wood.

Talavera Poblana: talavera pottery manufactured in the city of Puebla, Mexico.

Tlaquepaque: a Mexican city in the State of Jalisco famous for its tourist-ware pottery.

Tonala: a Mexican city in the State of Jalisco famous for its tourist-ware pottery.

Tzute: a utilitarian carrying cloth or ceremonial head cloth worn by the Mayan people of Guatemala.

Yalalag: a Zapotec village in Oaxaca famous for its jewelry.

Colonial Arts | 151 Vermont Street Street, Suite 6 | San Francisco, CA., 94103 | www.colonialarts.com