Lacquer Arts of Viceregal Latin America: a study of transculturation

Author(s): Ana María Díaz Rocha

Year: 2015


The establishment of a trade route between Asia, the New World, and Europe during the sixteenth century allowed admiration, exchange, and adaptation of different motifs, materials, and artistic techniques. The study of lacquer arts offers unique evidence of the transculturation that defines the arts of Spanish America during the viceregal period. This poster explores the use of unique American lacquer traditions that combine indigenous techniques and European forms with designs borrowed from Europe, Asia, and pre-Hispanic America. I look specifically at two separate lacquer art traditions that developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and are still in use today: Maque Lacquer and Barniz de Pasto. Both techniques developed from pre-Columbian Lacquer techniques that used organic materials prevalent in the regions of production. While trying to understand cultural and artistic modifications and new outcomes during the colonial period, I also focus on the subject’s implications for our understanding of material and iconographic studies in archaeology.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Lacquer Arts of Viceregal Latin America: a study of transculturation. Ana María Díaz Rocha. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398408)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections