Market Insights | Resources

What Is A Traditional Craft In Latin America

Dec 24, 2022 | Status is reachable Maria Clara Da Costa Borges

As the wholesale world embodies sustainability, the Blog summarises the most sustainable and handmade creations from Latin America.


Brazilian craftsmanship is one of the richest in the world and guarantees the livelihood of many families and communities. Crafts are part of folklore and reveal the uses, customs, traditions, and characteristics of each region.

Pottery and clay dolls 

Ceramics is one of Brazil's most advanced forms of popular art and handicraft. Divided between utilitarian and figurative ceramics, this art made by the Indians was later mixed with the European pottery tradition and African patterns and developed in regions favorable to the reception of its raw material - clay. At fairs and markets in the Northeast, you can see clay dolls that recreate typical figures from the region: cangaceiros (Which was a phenomenon of Northeast Brazil in the late 19th. This region of Brazil is known for its aridness and complex way of life), migrants, vendors, musicians, and lacemakers. 

Figurative ceramics also stands out in the states of Pará, Ceará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, and Santa Catarina. In other states, pottery is more of a practical type (pots, pans, vases, etc.) 


The Lace, present in clothes, handkerchiefs, towels, and other articles, plays an essential economic role in the North, Northeast, and South regions. The so-called pillow or bobbin lace is developed by the hands of the lace makers who work with a pillow, cardboard full of holes, thread, and bobbins (small pieces of wood similar to spindles). Brought by the Portuguese, this technique is a traditional work from several places on the Brazilian coast. Cardboards are passed down from generation to generation, and some motifs are unique to one family. Although Lace was not originally a Brazilian product, it has become a local product through acculturation. 

Carved in wood 

The production of wood carvings is another manifestation of Brazilian material culture, used by the Indians in their constructions, weapons and utensils, boats and musical instruments, 

masks, and dolls. Art and crafts in wood produce diverse objects with motifs such as nature, the human universe, and fantasy. 

Indigenous crafts 

Each indigenous group or tribe has its handicraft. The ink used by the tribes is entirely natural, coming from trees or fruits.

 The vast majority of tribes develop pottery and basketry. Baskets are mostly made from palm leaves and used to store food. 

Capim Dourado 

One of the treasures of the Cerrado 

The golden strands of the evergreen tree grow in fields in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Goiás, Tocantins, the Federal District, and Bahia.

 Golden grass is the raw material for making handbags, jewelry, and decorative objects, which are nationally known and valued. The art of transforming stems into handicrafts is a legacy of the Xerente Indians. The utensils they manufactured were used at home or exchanged for other products. Currently, producing such handicrafts is the primary source of income for hundreds of families. 


The crafts of Argentina are very beautiful. Each socioculturally speaking region has different objects of different colors, materials, and uses; each one of these is built with different techniques depending on the material used and the region in which it is built.


As elements were needed for the crops, to store clothes, food, etc. baskets emerged.
In Argentina, almost all the techniques currently used come from pre-Columbian origins. The most common are those of: twisted, braided, and woven.


Vessels and other objects are made with clay and fired in a wood oven. Made of clay, it is easily differentiated from porcelain because it is porous and opaque in some cases when it is cooked at lower temperatures it does not reach its vitrification point, it is generally used domestically.

Glass carving

To carve glass, various wheels of different shapes, sizes, and materials are always used with water and in some cases an abrasive, then ground and then polished.


Some of the techniques applied to these handicrafts were transported from the first settlers to their experiences as sailors, fishermen, basket makers, etc. If so, the raw material was different if it was offered with all generosity, and it took little time to discover its excellent resistance and adaptation to local needs.

In Argentina, since the 17th century, raw leather crafts have had great importance and utility. 

Andean crafts 

All hand-weaving techniques date back to pre-Columbian times when women began to dedicate themselves to raising alpacas. Later, they began to realize that animals could not only serve as shelter but also that from them, they could create handicrafts and decorative items to exchange (in the beginning) and sell. This is how peasant women developed textile art that remains to this day. 

In the north of Chile, especially in the Andean Atacama, you can find women who make shawls, bags, and vests made of alpaca and vicuña wool.


In Mexico, there is a tendency to color objects full of life. It is a mixture of colors, sensations, fabrics, and textures. Mexican culture is pleasing and festive, and this ends up being extensively represented by Mexican handicrafts, which show the tremendous cultural baggage and personality of its inhabitants.  

Mexican skull 

It's impossible to talk about Mexican crafts without remembering the famous Mexican skulls. They are a great cultural representation and are known as Las Catrinas. They 

emerged as part of the celebration of Día de los Muertos, which takes place on November 2, and is one of the most festive holidays in the country. 


It is impossible to think of Mexico without thinking of the characteristic hats of its people. As is the Mexican tradition, sombreros are made from materials such as straw and can be very colorful. They are beautiful pieces of Mexican craftsmanship, and, in history, they say that they came about because field workers used them to protect themselves from the sun. 

Some other sources say that the knights of Guadalajara used the piece as part of their uniforms. It is a great icon of the country's culture and can be used in home decor hanging on the wall: a fun and cheerful touch. 

Colored blankets 

Blankets are also a significant trademark of Mexican crafts. The pieces are very colorful and can be used in very different ways. Shawls can be used in the cold, like blouses, but vast, or they can be pieces to be used on top of the sofa to give a very colorful and cheerful touch to the environment with very traditional music. of Mexican crafts. 


Peru is rich in many aspects and, therefore, is one of the most visited destinations in South America. 

Wood Sculptures 

From images of gods and masks to trays and accessories, this type of art is one of the most traditional Peruvian crafts that impresses with the precision of detail. In addition, the famous Peruvian flutes are also part of this group of handicrafts in wood. 

Stone and Huamanga 

Other very famous sculptures in Peruvian crafts are those made in Huamanga stones, a material of volcanic origin found in certain provinces of Peru. White in color, these stones are the basis of some incredible handicrafts by several artists who inherited their people's millenary customs and traditions. 

Items such as saints, statues, paintings, and decorative objects are meticulously carved out of these stones and sold in various stores and fairs throughout the country. A typically Andean product. 

Ceramics from Chulucanas 

Chulucanas is a small Peru village located in the region of Morropón. Despite not being very touristy, its name is present in practically all Peruvian handicraft stores. Indeed, you will be enchanted by vases, bottles, and ceramic sculptures of the most varied types and a singular perfection. 

With a piece of wood and a rounded stone, the craftsman taps the pottery lightly and shapes it the way he wants. The paintings are done manually, with brushes and special tools, millimeter by millimeter. 

Llama or Alpaca wool 

The accessories and clothing made from the wool of llamas or alpacas in Peru are unmistakable. Almost always with bright colors, these pieces represent a great wealth of Peruvian culture and crafts.

 Among the most common products are the traditional ponchos, hats (known as chullos), blankets, hammocks, hats, shoes, and coats. 

Peruvian Silver 

The works made with Peruvian silver are among the most valued and recognized in the country and the world. Among cords, bracelets, and filigree, this material is found in almost all parts of Peru, especially in the Sacred Valley region. Indeed, silver is one of the resources that most moves the economy of specific areas and shopping tourism in Peru. 

I Understand

By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies.

Know More.