Handmade Sconces at Tribal Hotel
It really was a treasure hunt sourcing locally handcrafted goods to incorporate into the design of Tribal Hotel. Very close to Granada, located on a little hill, the Pueblos Blancos are small villages where we were able to connect with the local culture and meet indigenous Nicaraguan people who are passionate about keeping alive their strong pre-Columbian roots and traditions. Their handicrafts are available for purchase at the hotel. Our favorite, San Juan de Oriente, was previously known by the name of San Juan de los Platos, derived from its deep rooted pre-Hispanic history and culture of producing the most beautiful clay artifacts and crafts. This is where we were able to work with local potters to design our beautiful, durable outdoor clay sconces. The villagers here are friendly and welcoming, eager to share their talents and artistic masterpieces with visitors. Complimenting the magnificent crafts created here, the town is located in a picturesque part of Nicaragua. The locals are descendants of the Nahuatl Indians, who settled here some 5,000 years ago, most are skilled in the making of traditional arts and crafts, skills passed on through the generations.
Visiting recently with guests from Tribal Hotel we gathered around the potter’s wheel to observe one of our favorite local craftsman and his family demonstrate the traditional way pottery is made, painted, and burnished. It’s all organically produced, they hike to the clay pits to gather the clay, pound it by bare feet, their brushes are made of soft children’s hair gathered from haircuts, and they use giant seeds as burnishers. The potter’s wheel is kick started, there is no electricity. After a very lengthy process of hand crafting the pottery on the wheel, the pieces are burnished and painting using the traditional “engove” method, then baking in kilns made of brick and heated with wood burning fires. The entire family is involved in the process, It’s really remarkable to see.