Travelers to show indigenous crafts from Mexico, Central America


Armchair travelers won't want to miss a tour of Mexico and Central America on Sunday when the Manchester Historical Center presents "South of the Equator Wanderers."

The Historical Center will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. at 3208 York St., Manchester.

At 2 p.m., Philana and Ray Quick, recent wanderers through Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador, will show indigenous crafts and possibly videotapes of their visits to such important archaeological sites in Mexico as the Temple of the Sun and Moon.

"My husband was working as an embassy employee all over Latin America, Spain and Mexico," explained Mrs. Quick, who did some teaching and community liaison work as they traveled.

In Mexico, "through the Institute of International Education, I was in charge of a graduate scholarship program under the auspices of the Ford and MacArthur foundations that funded deserving students who would return to their native country to provide leadership in chosen fields," she said.

The Quicks live in Eldersburg for its proximity to their government employment in Washington. They're familiar to North Carroll residents, however; Mrs. Quick is the choir director and Mr. Quick the organist at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester.

"Mexico has the richest craft history, where indigenous people have kept up a thriving business.," said Mrs. Quick. She collected folk craft items wherever they traveled.

The provinces of Mexico focus on different crafts, she said, such as the black pottery from Oaxaca. This pottery is a modern

legend in which a discovery saved a village.

"An old Indian lady in a poor village discovered one day, quite by accident, that after one firing, to scrape the side of a bowl with a stone of quartz would make it appear bright shiny black," said Mrs. Quick. The woman, Dona Rosa, developed the process, which was kept as a family secret. Later, the secret process became an enterprise that resurrected the economy of the village.

Oaxaca also is known for rug weaving of fibers dyed with earthen dyes. "They make paint from the dust of the earth," said Mrs. Quick.

Also in her collection are painted clay figures from Mexico "that are pointillistic," she said. "They used a very fine brush dipped in color to dot the animal or make swirling designs."

Guatemala is known for textile weaving in which certain designs are perpetuated by each native tribe for pillows, hangings, and fabrics, she said. Some use earth colors. Other tribes use brilliant colors.

Mrs. Quick also will show trays, plates and everyday baskets from El Salvador that are painted with folk art animals and people in vivid colors beneath a deep, clear glaze. From Costa Rica, she will display wooden bowls carved with rich images borrowed from the Catholic faith.

Information: Charlotte Collett, 374-9247.


The annual Spring Arts and Crafts Show organized by the Hampstead Fire Auxiliary will be April 8 from from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fire hall, 1341 N. Main St.

In previous years, this large show has featured yard ornaments made of concrete and wood, hand-painted porcelain, hand-painted sweat shirts and various needle crafts.

Tables are still available to vendors for $20 each. Information: Wanda Sparks, 239-2406.


Anyone with a keen interest in Mary, Queen of Scots and aspects of life in the 1500s can join the Marie Stuart Society, an international study club based in Scotland.

The society will meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Gramercy Bed and Breakfast, 1400 Greenspring Valley Road.

"We're not historians, but a group of people who have the desire to increase our knowledge," said Janet Marie Carothers of Stewartstown, Pa., who was asked by the international Marie Stuart Society in Scotland to organize the local club.

Meetings designed by Mrs. Carothers are the type that bring history to life. The meeting Sunday will include at least six professional re-enactors, in costume, to to discuss 16th century fashions.

Leading discussions will be Paula Peterka, a historical costumer who enacts Anna of Cleves at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Also speaking will be Suzanne Grider of Towson, a designer of historical costumes, and Tamara Funk, of York, Pa., a museum professional who specializes in costume research and textile preservation.

For information, call Janet Carothers at (410) 298-5410 or (717) 227-0681.

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