Nahual Low Fired Burnished Pottery
José Ángel Ortiz Arana
Ht. 8.25" x W. 8" x D. 4.5"
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.
José Angel Ortiz Arana, working in Tonalá, Jalisco, is one of the most skilled potters working anywhere in Mexico. His brushwork is exquisite. José Angel learned the craft from his father. Tonalá has been an important center of ceramics for more than 500 years.