The purpose of Ruraq Maki, Hecho a Mano (2007) is to renew and strengthen the circuit of production, commercialization, knowledge and enjoyment of traditional popular art, with the certainty that, in the multiple popular artistic creations, the history of the cultural diversity of Peru is preserved. In accordance with this horizon, the specific objectives of Ruraq Maki are to:
a) promote knowledge on traditional popular art;
b) foster intercultural dialogue among diverse cultural groups with a view to value cultural diversity;
c) encourage the exchange of specialized knowledge between artists, artisans and creative communities, and generate new routes of circulation and consumption of traditional art;
d) promote ways to develop cultural industries based on artisanal manufacturing;
e) safeguard the intangible cultural heritage-ancestral knowledge, practices and rituals-contained in the techniques, styles and meanings of the pieces of traditional popular art;
f) make traditional creation a tool for social inclusion and human development.
It also consists of three lines of action:
a) research and register of creators of traditional art, as well as of their artisanal lines
b) publications in various formats and museum exhibits based on the register and research
c) the "Ruraq Maki, Hecho a Mano" traditional popular art exhibition-sale.
Ruraq Maki has grown and consolidated as one of the biggest State projects dedicated to popular and traditional art, generating new conditions for economic and symbolic flow-a flow that does not propose an adjustment to the content to fit market demands, but rather is based on the knowledge, enjoyment and use of artistic production-between creators and consumers.
The program is the product of the coordinated management between the Directorate of Intangible Heritage, the National Museum of Peruvian Culture, the Qhapaq Nan Project and the Decentralized Directorates of Culture, all of which are divisions of the Ministry of Culture.
The "Ruraq Maki, Hecho a Mano" exhibition has been carried out for over a decade, in two annual editions in the months of July and December, each lasting ten days and with the participation of nearly 150 popular artist collectives and creative communities from all over the country. From the first version (July 2007) to the most recent one (December 2019), more than twenty editions have been organized in the Ministry of Culture, where hundreds of artisan collectives from all over Peru and sister countries such as Mexico (2018) and Chile (2019) have participated, thus connecting traditional artists with new markets.
The exhibition-sale has also been invited to other events at the national and international levels, giving exposure to Peruvian artists, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) (2016), UNESCO'S 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves (2016), some editions of 'Mistura' Gastronomic Fair, the 'Expotextil' Fair, the International Book Fair of Bogota (2014), events of the Peruvian Embassy in Ireland (2018), among others. Decentralized editions also take place in regions such as Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Junin, driven by the Decentralized Directorates of Culture, and a special edition took place in the Huallamarca Site Museum (2019).
Also, a series of documentaries have been produced, providing an overview of the artisanal disciplines and life stories of traditional artists of a certain region. To date, more than 50 documentaries have been produced on artisans from different regions of the country. These documentaries have been broadcasted on the State television network, are available on the Ruraqmaki.pe website and are used by the artisans themselves as a tool to promote their work.
Finally, five books have been published: Textiles Tradicionales de Taquile (2014), Ceramica Tradicional Awajun (2015), Ceramica Tradicional de Huarguesh y Punchao Chico (2016), Ceramica Tradicional Kichwa Lamas de Wayku (2017) and Ceramica Tradicional Shipibo-Konibo (2019).
One of the most recent achievements of this initiative is the electronic sale platform (virtual stores) of Peruvian popular art based on fair and solidary trade that, in addition to generating income for artisans' families, makes visible the value of traditional art and its creators. This platform offers a model of autonomous self-managed stores (https://tiendasvirtuales.ruraqmaki.pe). Similarly, the "Person of Cultural Merit" recognition given to traditional artists and the "Cultural Heritage of the Nation" declaration to traditional plastic expressions are two strategies that adhere to the methodology of vindication and dissemination of traditional popular art. These recognitions constitute State mechanisms to promote the protection of the knowledge lying in people and cultural practices.
Likewise, Ruraq Maki, Hecho a Mano has established links among the traditional artists who exhibit their work and specialized buyers such as craft store owners, craftwork exporters, interior designers, fashion designers, among others, who attend the exhibition-sale year after year, making contacts to place specific orders later. This way, Ruraq Maki, Hecho a Mano works as a business network that allows traditional artists to receive orders that give sustainability to their production throughout the year.
Since 2018, a section dedicated to celebrate co-creativity has been opened, as a result of the meeting between designers and traditional artists within a framework of fair and solidary trade, but especially within a framework of equity and recognition for the contribution to the traditional artist creation.
USD 80,000.00 per year
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Local and regional governments
The work of Ruraq Maki raises constant questions on the main needs of the sector. Recently, based on a review of the actions carried out from the project, we identified the need to bring the exhibition-sale space to an online platform, thus multiplying the mechanisms of access and dissemination of the artists and their proposals and works before a large and diverse audience beyond Peru.
The creation of a co-creative section is also the result of a transversal look at Ruraq Maki and its objectives, from which a need arose to materialize the meeting among various Peruvian artists, within a framework of equity and recognition offered by this space