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  • Lisa Orr

The Fantastical Pottery of Ocumicho by Lisa Orr and Troy Lanier

Updated: Jan 14

How does a major artistic innovation happen in a rural Mexican village known for its clay toys? Indigenous Purépecha women in the village of Ocumicho, Michoacán, for decades have made toy animal whistles as a side hustle for consumption at local festivals, including Día de los Muertos. Suddenly in the early 1960s, a sculptural style arose based on the clay figurines featuring ceramic devils involved in all situations of daily life, which rapidly garnered national and later international attention. This has grown in the past 50 years since its inception. Yet the tradition continues of local Purépecha children still playing with clay toys locally made for them. This film shows the creation of works plus explores the timeline of changes in Ocumicho along with the artisans thoughts as well as those from their separate audiences.

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