Brothers Pedro Gonzales and Javier Paucar are the fourth generation artisans whose objects convey the vast ancestral and modern cultural wealth of Peru. Pedro and Javier were born in the village of Aza de Santa Barbara in the Central Highlands of Peru and give credit to their grandfather, Abilio Gonzales, a great master artisan, for their success.
For more than four decades, Pedro and Javier have been working together, creating traditional saint figures and crosses made out of maguey wood, tin and iron. Traditionally, the serpent shaped maguey tree was considered sacred and believed to connect worlds above and below. Its wood was considered a material that held a sacred soul within. In teaching his grandsons this art, Abilio was honored to be able to share his heritage and fine artistry.
The brothers’ crosses hold strong symbolism and are traditionally made for ritualistic and religious festivities. They are typically used as household shrines, combining Christian and Peruvian folk origins. Like many religious artifacts in Latin America, they intertwine Catholic beliefs and ancient customs.
Both Pedro and Javier are proud to continue this tradition and put as much care into their work as their grandfather. They see it not only as a way to preserve a family tradition, but also as a way to express themselves as individuals and to connect with their culture and community. The brothers are gaining increasing recognition, exhibiting locally and abroad at folk art museums and private collections around the world.
To learn more about Pedro and Javier, visit Las Pallas at Calle Cajamarca 212 in Lima.