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Indo-Hispanic Folk Art Traditions

Review by Carl Franz
from the People's Guide Travel Letter #6

Indo-Hispanic Folk Art Traditions: Volume 1 (Christmas) and Volume 2 (Day of the Dead). Written and illustrated by Bobbi Salinas-Norman, Third Edition © 1991 by Piñata Publications, 200 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612 (510-444-6401). ISBN 0-934925-03-8 (Vol. 1) and ISBN 0-934925-04-6 (Vol. 2) Bilingual.

Don’t be misled by the somewhat ponderous titles; these oversized, abundantly illustrated books will make folk art come to life for both children and adults. As the author explains, the term "Indo-Hispanic" refers to "the combination of indigenous and Spanish backgrounds common to most Spanish-speaking people of the Americas."

Using two of the most important and colorful Indo-Hispanic holidays as examples, Bobbi Salinas-Norman clearly explains the cultural roots of Indo-Hispanic folk art and its importance in contemporary life. "The Day of the Dead offers us the opportunity to examine this universal experience in the context of a family tradition, illuminated by the hope of an afterlife. In this way it loses some of its terror and becomes more meaningful, even beautiful." for excerpts....

Although both volumes make excellent introductions to folk art, their real strength is in the abundance of material offered for home and classroom projects. For example, after explaining in Volume 1 that the origins of the piñata may go as far back as ancient China, Salinas-Norman describes its present-day use in Mexican Christmas posadas. She then offers us a piñata song, followed with step-by-step instructions on how to make our own Star of Bethelehem piñata. Similar instructions are given on everything from costuming and choreographing your own matachine dance to molding clay nativity figures and

(For an Excerpt)

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©1972-2000 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens
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