New book for kids aims to promote the Chorotega pottery heritage

The Chorotega pottery tradition has existed for perhaps more than 2,000 years, but soon a fictional iguana will lend a claw to keep it going. The iguana, Igo, is the character created by German artist and writer Christine Rieck-Sonntag. The book is designed for children, and children, appropriately, are the subject matter of some of the graphics.

The book is being showcased by the Ecomuseo de la Cerámica Chorotega de San Vicente de Nicoya and the Museo Nacional. The writer’s goal and that of the museums is to bring local children closer to the ceramic art of their parents and ancestors and to motivate them to preserve the cultural inheritance, according to the museums. The museum workers outlined the goal in an announcement Monday about the inauguration of the book, which will be Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Museo Nacional.

The Aztecs had Chorotega pottery on their tables, as did MesoAmerican cultures before them. The region, which includes Guaitil de Santa Cruz and las Pozas de Nicoya, as well as Sam Vicente, benefits from an excellent clay material for making pottery. The entire area has been declared a national heritage region, and the locally run San Vicente museum displays the history.

Ms. Rieck-Sonntag is an internationally known artist who has had her works displayed in museums the world over. She also has received many awards.  Income from the book will benefit the local museum.

In the book the iguana is upset because humans are taking the special San Vicente soils where iguanas put their eggs. To find out why, Igo visits the artists’ workshops in the town. Help is provided by a little local girl. During the trip, the iguana learns the ways of mixing the clay, molding the pots or vases, painting them and then firing them. The text stresses the importance of this local artistic tradition.

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