NEWBURYPORT – Cultural Survival, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, will hold one of its annual Indigenous arts festivals July 20 and 21 in Market Square and along Inn Street.
This bazaar will feature traditional and contemporary handcrafts from over 60 cultures. Visitors will have the opportunity to exchange, connect with Indigenous artists, enjoy live music, and bring home mementos from around the world. Among the crafts will be amate paper, made of tree bark in an Otomi Indigenous community in Mexico, handwoven baskets from Botswana, and traditional Zulu decorative plates from South Africa.
Julio Laja Chichicaxtle learned how to make amate paper as a child from his grandparents, a tradition which has been practiced since prior to European colonization, according to a press release. Amate paper was produced extensively and used for communication, records, and ritual during the Aztec Empire. Chichicaxtle started to sell his own-designed Amate paper from 25 years ago. He and his family, including his wife, Cirila Trejo González, and their two children, have dedicated recent years to creating new designs, including nature-based imagery while maintaining traditional patterns. Combined with embroidered textiles that they also make, the paper serves as a magnificent wall and table decorations.
Since 1975, Cultural Survival Bazaars have provided a market for thousands of indigenous artists and cooperatives spanning six continents and more than 60 countries. This year, the bazaars will feature Indigenous artists from the U.S., Mexico, Ghana, Peru, Burkina Faso, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Uganda, Tibet, Nepal, and more. Each year the bazaars generate about half a million dollars for Indigenous artists, performers, and projects.
The bazaar will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. There is no admission charge and the bazaar will be held, rain or shine.