Manos Amigas

Carved Gourds (Mate Burilado)

Carved gourds are handcrafted ornamented handicrafts made from the fruits of the pumpkin, a product that grows in the north of Peru, but which are mostly made in the Mantaro Valley in the Junín region and in the province of Huanta in the Ayacucho region.

The elaboration of the carved gourds is ancestral and millenary; this is demonstrated by the discovery of two small, 3,500-year-old engraved gourds. This technique is inherited from generation to generation by Peruvian artisans. There are several ways of making gourds: carvings, pyro engraving and painted ones. The technique of the “burilado”, whose main tool is the “buril” with which it shapes different motifs ranging from the traditional to the modern are carved into the gourd. The black background is achieved by scouring “ichu” ashes or by burning it, bringing the mate closer and further away from the flame to acquire the various brown hues. The colored gourds are achieved by boiling them previously in aniline.