Esperanza Hernández Díaz y Albertina Gómez Pérez, Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas
The village of Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas is a Maya Tzeltal speaking community located on the Pan American Highway near San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Amatenango is known as “The Chiapas Capital of Pottery” where local women artisans display and sell their works under covered arches along the side of the highway to passing motorists or from their homes/workshops in the village on a commission basis to specific order. The skills necessary to produce the unique pottery of Amatenango have historically been passed down from mother to daughter over the generations.
Esperanza learned pottery making at a young age like all the other women in the village. When she got married at the age of 17 she moved in with her husband´s family and started working with a sister-in-law Albertina, Gómez Pérez.
Albertina made all the animals and pots made by others in the village but she also made rustic chickens that were different and became prized. She won prizes for her chickens and so far no one has duplicated them.
Albertina is a single woman who does not like to travel. She taught Esperanza how to make her chickens, iguanas and piglets. Esperanza is making chickens with open beaks as opposed to Albertina´s chickens which have closed beaks. Albertina and Esperanza also make iguanas, pigs, armadillos and other animals in the same style as the chickens and Esperanza is particularly good at making turkeys.
The animals are decorated with black and red paint on a natural clay color background. They were first made to be piggy banks but are also made now for their decorative value.
Avenida Francisco I Madero #433
Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas
992 690 0810 cell