Chulucanas Potery History

    Thousands of years ago, the potters of the Vicus culture in the coastal deserts of Peru were known throughout the land as the finest ceramic artists. Using the clay beneath their feet, the natural symbols around them and a strong religious inspiration to guide them, they fashioned elegantly shaped, subtly painted ceramic pots. Hand burnished with volcanic rock, decorated with earth colors of naturally-dyed slips, and based on their ancient culture for motifs as old as time, Chulucanas pottery is made by the descendants of these indigenous artist of northern Peru. Chulucanas pottery can be considered a true inheritance from the Precolombian art of the Vicus, not only because of its quality but also because its artists have captured the techniques that were developed more than 2,000 years ago in the northern coast of Peru.

   The artists search for a message or theme of a piece which guides them as they work on it to completion. This type of art is so natural that you can detect the smell of earth and wood fires on the pieces.  To own Chulucanas pottery and art is to own a piece of history of ancient America.    

        Chulucanas is a town in northern Peru, near the foothills of the Piura highlands and not far from the border with Ecuador.  In the 1960s the Moncada and Sosa families of Chulucanas began a serious study of early decorative ceramic methods. They began by making fruit and animal shapes, and later added human figures typical of the local cultural environment. These included "chicheras", women with children, families, dancers, birds and a variety of animals from the desert.  The negative-positive technique was researched and its renewed use has now evolved into a wide variety of shades ranging from light to a dark, almost black ocher. The color is obtained by selecting several fuels such as tender or ripe (fresh or dry) leaves from banana and mango trees. The quantity of fuel placed in the second firing is what provides the variety of shades.


An example of the oven used to cook the ceramic.