Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

February 05, 2013

PRICELESS BEAUTIES OF SPANISH AMERICA



My Blog group has set up a new challenge, with the theme - “The little things that make me smile”


I could write a long post about this, describing how I love to look at flowers, or a sparrow bathing in a pool, or a hummingbird going about its business, or a cat lazing in the sun, or …


I could also describe how happy I feel when one of my students finally “gets it”…!


Yes, but this blog is about Spanish America, so I will have to be a rebel and change the wording somewhat.


Usually when thinking about my blog topic, images of huge stone structures immediately come to mind, related to the Aztec, or the Maya, or the Inca. Or maybe I will remember the enormous majesty of the Andes Mountains.


However, this vast area is also significant for other "SMALL OBJECTS" and also some spectacular WILD LIFE, which I "ENJOY" very much.


So here we go!



ARTS AND CRAFTS IN SPANISH AMERICA: A SHORT LIST.




Since pre-Hispanic times, the inhabitants of the “other America” have produced many examples of fine arts and crafts. 


  • They used precious metals for decorative objects that frequently were related to their religious practices.

  • They used precious and semi-precious stones for their art and also for their jewelry.

  • They developed beautiful pottery, some of which blended colors and figures with great mastery

  • They produced beautiful textiles, woven from fibers that are still available today, which they dyed with natural colorants

  • They painted colorful murals with exotic and eye-catching figures.


NECKLACE, PROBABLY CHIMU CULTURE (PERU)





Source: Daderot, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

 

USES OF LAPIZ LAZULI.




This semi-precious stone is mined at present in two places: Afghanistan and Chile. It is considered to be one of Chile’s national symbols.


It is used at present to create beautiful jewelry, and I smile with pleasure every time I see somebody wearing it, or I see it in photos. It is a beautiful blue color.


A SAMPLE OF LAPIS LAZULI





Source: Teravoit, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons




DIAGUITA POTTERY.





This is a specific culture from the arid regions of the North of Chile. They were excellent at creating beautiful pottery, with colors that are reminiscent of the various shades to be found in this desert region. They are famous for their subtle designs and use of color. I enjoy observing the patterns and the endless variety they could achieve within the same general appearance. Diaguita pottery can be identified at a glance!


A SAMPLE OF DIAGUITA POTTERY













Source: Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Public Domain, Chile



ANDEAN TEXTILES



The South American cultures were especially fortunate in their ability to create beautiful, colorful textiles. They had the wool of the Andean camelids at their fingertips. The Alpaca, the Llama and the Vicuña are valued as a source of fine woolen fibers even today.


The Incas were especially brilliant in their textile arte, and I so enjoy seeing how their descendents still produce the same type of textile crafts today. 


INCA TUNIC CREATED AROUND 1550






Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Common


ANDEAN TEXTILE  (WEAVING)


 

Source: Adam Jones, CC BY SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



WILD FLOWERS, A NATURAL SPECTACLE.




Spanish America is specially favored in its wild flowers, so much so, that many indigenous plants and flowers have been domesticated over the centuries and now grace high-priced flower shops and seed shops the world over.


Did you know that the Nasturtium originally came from the Andes of South America, mainly in Peru and Bolivia?


And I do love this plant, so cheery and so useful. My grandmother taught me so much about it, that I actually published a whole article on the Nasturtium on Hubpages.com. You can follow the link here:  Nasturtium



But the Nasturtium is not the only plant to originate in this area. Here are some more!


FUCHSIA MAGELLANICA





Source: Dick Culbert, CC BY 2.0. Flickr.



DESERT FLOWER FROM THE NORTH OF CHILE


 

Source: Dick Culbert, CC BY 2.0. Flickr. Chile, Norte Chico




SPANISH AMERICA ALSO OWNS SOME CUTE FAUNA.




There are two animal species that I really enjoy, and these are:


  • The Pudú – the world’s smallest deer.

  • The Guigna – the smallest wild feline of the Americas.

I know them both first-hand and they are beautiful, and also very cute because of their small size. These I will leave for another Blog post!



CONCLUSION.




Yes indeed! There are many “little things that make me smile” to be found in Spanish America, and each of the ones I chose for this post, will probably be included in a post of its own sometime in the future. 




SPANISH VERSION



(This Blog is bilingual)





LAS ARTESANIAS DE LA AMERICA HISPANA: UNA PEQUEÑA LISTA


Desde los tiempos precolombinos, los habitantes de “la otra América” han producido muchos ejemplos de  artesanías finas

  • Usaron metales preciosos para confeccionar objetos decorativos que muchas veces estaban relacionados con sus prácticas religiosas.
  • Usaron piedras preciosas y semipreciosas para confeccionar sus obras de arte y también para joyería.
  • Desarrollaron la cerámica, fusionando colores y formas  con gran maestría
  • Crearon preciosas piezas textiles, tejiendo con fibras que hoy en día se siguen usando, y que tiñeron con colorantes naturales.
  • Pintaron bello murales con figuras exóticas y llamativas.

USOS DEL LAPIS LAZULI.




Este mineral semiprecioso es extraído en el presente en Afganistán y en Chile. Se le considera como uno de los símbolos nacionales de Chile.



Se utiliza para crear bellas joyas, y personalmente el verlas siempre me hace sonreír, ya sea que adornen a alguna persona o aparezcan en fotografías. ¡Su color azul es inmensamente bello!



CERÁMICA DIAGUITA.




Corresponde a una cultura específica  de las regiones áridas del Norte de Chile. Los Diaguitas eran excelentes creadores de bellas piezas de cerámica, cuyos colores se asemejan a la variedad de tonos que presenta la región del desierto. Son famosos por sus diseños sutiles y su uso del color. Me encanta observar los diseños y la variedad sin fin que pudieron crear siempre manteniendo la misma presentación general. ¡La cerámica Diaguita se identifica a simple vista!





TEXTILES ANDINOS.




Las culturas de América del Sur fueron especialmente afortunadas en su habilidad para crear piezas textiles hermosas y de gran colorido. Contaban con una fuente inagotable de fina lana que obtenían de los camélidos que poblaban estas regiones. La Alpaca, la Llama y la Vicuña son valorados como fuentes de finos textiles incluso en el presente.




LAS FLORES SILVESTRES: UN ESPECTÁCULO NATURAL.




La América Hispana es especialmente afortunada en cuanto a sus flores silvestres. Tanto es así, que muchas de las especies que se originaron en estas tierras han sido domesticadas a lo largo de los años y hoy en día se encuentran en venta en lujosas florerías y semillerías alrededor del mundo.



¿Sabías que la llamada Espuela de Galán (Nasturtium) es originaria de la Cordillera de los Andes, en  sectores que corresponden a Perú y Bolivia?


¡Me encanta esta planta, tan alegre y útil! Pero no es la única que se originó  por estas tierras, hay varias más.



LA AMÉRICA HISPANA TAMBIÉN CUENTA CON UNA FAUNA GRACIOSA.




Hay dos especies animales que realmente me encantan y son:


  • El Pudú, el ciervo más pequeño del mundo
  • La Güiña, el gato montés más pequeño de las Américas. 

Conozco a los dos de primera mano y son muy bellos y encantadores debido a su pequeño tamaño. ¡Seguramente serán motivo de otro post en este Blog!



CONCLUSIÓN.




En realidad hay muchas “pequeñas cosas” que me producen alegría en nuestra América Hispana. Es probable que cada uno de los que presenté en este post, sea motivo de algún artículo específico en un futuro cercano.




More about similar topics in a future post.      Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.


LANGUAGE TIPS FOR ENGLISH



Words that go together!  * Do your best  - * Break a habit   - * Take an exam  - * Keep a diary   – * Save time





LANGUAGE TIPS FOR SPANISH.




Expresiones de uso frecuente: * A la vuelta de la esquina  - * Bajar la guardia  - * La media naranja  




How is your level of comprehension?        Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?



© 2012  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)



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