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June 13, 2013

Handmade Crafts: Cabecár Tribe Costa Rica

Handmade Crafts: Cabecár Tribe Costa Rica

The engagingly whimsical creatures, made by Costa Rica’s Cabecár indigenous tribe have been offered in Galeria Namu for about five years. These handmade crafts, an art form of which is the only artifact that we have from this tribe; in fact it is the only cultural expression that they make to offer tourists, what few

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May 23, 2013

Women Artists

Women Artists

No matter how many, or few, art appreciation classes we have taken in our lives, it is almost a safe bet to assume that if you are a female you have been offended by the almost total lack of representation by women artists across the centuries.  It is so insidious that perhaps we take for

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May 8, 2013

Wedding Ideas: Unique Gifts Celebrating Marriage

Wedding Ideas: Unique Gifts Celebrating Marriage

The earth laughs in flowers; a flower is love looking for a word. From bouquets to boutonnieres every wedding is marked by a profusion of flowers to remind all involved that love and marriage are joyful, fresh occasions and as wondrous as the blossoms of the earth. Not that such perfection can be outdone, but

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April 15, 2013

Jewelry as Art

Jewelry as Art

A polemic that has been going on for over 100 years is whether or not photography is truly an art form, but if you stop and think about it, a much greater conundrum is whether or not jewelry is an art form. Think about your jewelry box for a minute; in that box you may

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March 26, 2013

Mighty Jaguar Animal

Mighty Jaguar Animal

Now is one of the richest seasons for the gallery in that one of our most prized categories, the used ceremonial mask, has been replenished thanks to the recent arrival of masks purchased from the recently held ceremonies in the Brunka villages.  We are excited to share about the mighty jaguar animal but let me

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March 13, 2013

Folk Art of Costa Rica

Folk Art of Costa Rica

In order to appreciate any folk art it is necessary to clear your prior understanding of all other kinds of art that you have read about or learned in art appreciation classes, for it is neither scholarly art, nor is it art learned in classes. At Galería Namu, practically all of the artists have no

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February 21, 2013

Tribal Art: Masks of Boruca Village vs Rey Curré

Tribal Art: Masks of Boruca Village vs Rey Curré

  Discerning Tribal Art Ceremonial Masks of Costa Rica: The vernacular of the Brunka mask imagery is expressive and, at times, complex.  In previous articles we have discussed various aspects of La Danza de los Diablitos and its accompanying masks, but here we will examine one topic that has not previously been mentioned and that

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January 13, 2013

Portrait of Costa Rica in Tiles

Portrait of Costa Rica in Tiles

Upon my arrival in Costa Rica, misinformed tourist-type that I was, I was all agog to find spicy food and decorative tiles. What was I thinking! Neither were to be found and I began to think that maybe I got off on at the wrong stop! Joking aside, these searches were most uncultured of me;

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December 19, 2012

Molas: Layers of Meaning

Molas: Layers of Meaning

A funny thought struck me the other day as I watched a young girl walking down Central Avenue in San Jose; she was wearing a light top and shorts and her shoulders, mid-back and ankles were covered in tattoos giving the appearance of gaily coloured sleeves and socks. My thought was: how interesting that the

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December 10, 2012

Gold Desire

Gold Desire

  Getting Gold Treasure ~ Little did the revered artists living on the Southern Pacific side of what is known today as Costa Rica realize that they were creating the very thing that their conquerors were seeking – Gold Treasure! The infamous Fernando (Hernán) Cortés commented, “We Spaniards know a sickness of the heart that

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November 26, 2012

Sculpture in Wood: Artisan Family in Costa Rica

Sculpture in Wood: Artisan Family in Costa Rica

I first came to know a wood sculpture artist, Cristóbal Marroquín, shortly after opening Galería Namu in 1998. He looked like a typical struggling artist but he spoke like a scholar. His origins are from Guatemala and to anyone who knows the sad history of that war torn, beleaguered country, you will understand that those

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November 19, 2012

Sacred Art of Wounaan Baskets

Sacred Art of Wounaan Baskets

The rainy season will soon be coming to an end here in Costa Rica, and with it the tourists will return to enjoy this beautiful country in the sunshine. But these days in the capital are often quiet and on a slow rainy day in San Jose, I often have the unique pleasure and luxury

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November 9, 2012

Wounaan Carved Tagua

Enchanting Carved Tagua: Jewelry and Figurines ~ A gentleman entered the gallery recently; he was on a business trip in San Jose. He said he had missed his 7 year old daughter’s birthday and wanted to get her something very special. I showed him little boxes and mirrors and Native dolls, but none of these

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October 27, 2012

Jade: Powerful Beauty

Jade: Powerful Beauty

The Lure of The Jade ~ The Lure of the Jade happens to be the title of an obscure movie, apparently now lost, that came out in 1921 starring Pauline Fredericks and Thomas Holding and directed by Colin Campbell. It was indeed a dramatic tale of jilting, jade and jealousy. The heroine was obsessed by

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October 26, 2012

Halloween: Behold the Mask

Halloween: Behold the Mask

Celebrating Halloween ~ At this time of year, when the leaves turn to red and gold, kids of all ages start thinking of the end of month celebration and what ghoulish, devilish disguise they can scare up. Of course, the holiday is ancient, and anyone can tell you it is known as Halloween, but there

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