,

More Peru quilt inspiration

Say hello to Tupac and Amaru! (Tupac Amaru was the last of the Inca rulers).   These crudely hand made Toro de Purcara (teracotta bulls) are souvenirs from Cusco, Peru. You see them on rooftops all over southern Peru, probably about the size of a kitten. Mine are much smaller (obviously made for the tourist trade) and sit on the shelf above my work table, looking at me licking their lips!  Am I that tempting?!! I love them, kind of ugly as they are!

Tor de Pucara, souvenirs from Peru. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

My Toro de Pucara

What are they ‘for’ though, and why are do they sit like sentinels on the rooftops?  I remember a tour guide telling us they were an ancient tradition (predating the Spanish) to bring prosperity and fertility (of land and animals) to the home, which is rather wonderful.

Intrigued, I wanted to know more and I read somewhere (but I can’t find the source, so I’d say I’m a pretty rubbish researcher…and don’t quote me!) that they represent a ritual where a bull’s hide was cut until it bled, hot peppers were then hung around the neck to induce the bull to run like crazy across the fields spilling its blood as it went, to bring fertility to the land. The bulls, though lacerated and probably a bit peeved, weren’t actually killed. I imagine that the green decoration on the Toros represent the peppers and the wiggly lines the lacerations. What that lascivious looking tongue is all about though I have no idea!!! Maybe it’s got something to do with the prospect of a successful harvest and much salivating at something good to eat, who knows!

In my pursuit of inspiration for the quilt I decided to sketch them. There’s nothing like drawing something to really get to know it. You spend ages looking intensely, noticing the light, contours, texture, character…and if you’re any good you capture some of that in your drawing.  I’ll leave it to you to decide whether these are successful or not then, haha!!! The other thing it gives you is time to think about the subject, your mind wanders off on fanciful journeys as your hand and eye seem to become one.  I love drawing…

Toro de Pucara, side view. Conte drawing on paper. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013.

Toro in conte

Toro de Pucara, front view. Patel on paper. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013.

Toro in pastel

Toro de Pucara, terra cotta bulls from Peru. Pensil sketch on paper. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Amaru the toro in pencil

 

Toro de Pucara, terra cotta bulls from Peru. Gouache painting on paper. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Amaru in gouache and watercolour

 

Tor de Pucara, souvenirs from Peru. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Tupac and Amaru say goodbye!

Until next time it’s goodbye from them and it’s goodbye from me!  Back soon 🙂

4 replies
  1. Susan Owenby
    Susan Owenby says:

    I love love love pencil drawing and sketches. In my view, they are the closest you ever get to an artist’s mind when it is in a free, exploratory mode. I really should follow your lead and do it more often!

    Reply
  2. The Sassy Quilter
    The Sassy Quilter says:

    Love your drawings! Can’t wait to see this quilt. My Mom spent some time in Peru years ago. She loved it.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Paula! Your Mom’s very lucky, I thought it was such a special place 🙂 Ideas for the quilt are moving forward and I hope to have a mini/art quilt to share next week… Hope you have a fab weekend 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

I'd just like to say...