Perseverance made art
El Carmen de Viboral has come a long way so that her tableware is recognized as the nation’s heritage.
After two years of imagining the wells and dishes produced in that eastern municipality in even larger settings, on Thursday afternoon the Carmelites finally received the news that their ceramics were declared by the National Council of Cultural Heritage of Colombia as Intangible Heritage of the Nation.
The recognition was given thanks to the work undertaken by a group of researchers led by David Londoño, a professor at the Universidad Católica de Oriente (UCO), in which for 4 years they had been managing the procedures and conditions necessary to obtain the recognition.
The group was also made up of Olimpia Pavón, legal representative of the Association of Craftsmen Producers of Earthenware; Sara García, private investigator; and Julián Montoya, representative of several ceramic factories in the municipality.
“We began to ask ourselves about the production of the municipality. We found many things: there is a recognition of origin that protects El Carmen ceramics so that not just anyone can say that it was made here and that the paintings – flowers and decorations of each piece – have an exuberant creative richness and unique in the world ” Londoño said.
With these certainties, the team presented a project to the UCO and continued to advance in each technical review until today. “This is particularly good news for a municipality that has more than 120 years of ceramic tradition. A very big task is coming to appropriate and project we as a national heritage,” said Yeison Castro, director of the municipality’s Institute of Culture.
John Fredy Quintero, mayor of the municipality, agrees with this when he says that “the news fills us all with mixed feelings, it is a recognition of the potters and artisans who have sustained the tradition for years, but there is also a very great responsibility both administratively and economically to build that special plan that safeguards tradition ”.
Precisely that is what David dreams of: “a guide where we capture everything that artisans know so that this knowledge is reflected in some place and we can be sure that it will not be lost.
“Now even bigger things await us, this is just a door that opens for all that our ceramics can achieve,” says Castro. “And that is our next goal, that it be declared an intangible heritage of humanity. As a recognition for them, for the Carmelite potters and potters,” concluded Londoño.