Nahual Low Fired Burnished Pottery
Ht. 7" x W. 9" x D. 3.5"
A “nahual” is a human who has the ability to shape shift into animal form. Nahuals use their powers for good or evil according to their personality, but are generally seen more as mischief-makers than truly evil, and can be helpful and kind. In folk art, they are depicted as half human, half animal. The nahual is a widespread and significant figure of Mexican mythology with its origin in the Mesoamerican era. There are people who claim to hear or even see nahuals today or to be affected by their actions.
Ángel Ortiz Gabriel, working in Tonalá, Jalisco, has been creating ceramics for more than fifty years and is one of the most skilled potters working anywhere in Mexico. Tonalá has been an important center of ceramics for more than 500 years. Angel has revived traditions from the thirties that had actually disappeared from his village. He learned his craft from his grandparents, who were also traditional potters. Angel’s brushwork is simply gorgeous and as skilled as the finest brushwork anywhere in the world. His narrative designs depict nature and village life.