Solentiname arts have become rather well known internationally among folk art collectors and academicians. These oil painters and folk sculpture carvers have created their own ‘school’ of expression – the distinct Nicaraguan Solentiname style.
The Solentiname islanders of Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua) are primarily fishing and farming people. Almost all of them are also artists going back several generations! Among these island residents, the talent and urge to express themsleves artistically convinced a local priest (who has been living and serving among them for years and who is ex-Minister of Culture), Ernesto Cardinal, to guide artists in their technique and promote their talents beyond this lake .
This particular sculpture is a clever composition using the shell of this large fresh water turtle as a canvas to depict a Solentiname archipelago horizon scene – complete with tiny wooded and marshy islands, among which are campesino huts, feeding birds and distant volcanos – just as one observes being there.