April 30, 2017
Gregorio Bracamonte was born September 3, 1949 in the indigenous pottery pueblo of San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua. Gregorio’s father was a stone carver and his mother a traditional potter who coiled large utilitarian urns. For centuries men did not make pottery in Gregorio’s pueblo since the Nicoyan Indian times. As a young man Gregorio Bracamonte began the journey of recapturing the lost process of his Nicoyan ancestors. In the late 1970’s Gregorio began to produce clay sculptures based off ancient pieces and old photographs. The Gran Nicoya region of Nicaragua has a rich and ancient heritage where artisans specialized in ceremonial clay sculptures. As a master sculptor in clay Gregorio found his calling in recapturing what was lost and then adding his own talent and expression in creating stone burnished ceramic sculptures of monumental importance. As the world becomes enlightened to Nicaragua’s lost cultural heritage and the richness of the Nicoya culture, Don Gregorio’s work has become a remarkable example of this great tradition.
Today Gregorio’s work is collected around the world by international dignitaries and Heads of State. Listed as a national hero for his role in recapturing the lost heritage of his country, Gregorio Bracamonte has become an icon in his community, his country, and now the world. As the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian celebrates the ancient pottery tradition of Central America, Gregorio Bracamonte presents his work in his tradition demonstrating, as the ancient heritage of Nicaragua gains recognition, the extension of that heritage still live today.
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