We want to say thank you to our outgoing Guest Curator, Mary MacGregor-Villarreal! If you missed a chance to see her fantastic artifacts, please stop by the Guest Curator Archive Page. You can also examine all of our past Guest Curator’s as well.
Welcome to our Guest Curator, Norma Elia Cantú!
Norma Elia Cantú, the Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, serves as the President of the American Folklore Society (2019-2021). She is Professor emerita in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Founder and director of the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa, she organized El Mundo Zurdo, a gathering of Anzalduístas from 2007-2019. She is a folklorist, scholar, poet, and novelist whose scholarly and creative focus is on the US-Mexico borderlands; her most recent publications include the novel, Cabañuelas; Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor and the coedited anthologies Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art; meXicana Fashions: Politics, Self-Adornment, and Identity Construction; Teaching Gloria Anzaldúa: Pedagogies for our Classrooms and Communities, and the Critical Edition of Borderlands/la Frontera: The New Mestiza.
Photo courtesy of Trinity University
The two San Antonios hold a tiny child that you can remove until the saint finds what you have lost…or a spouse! The one on the left is 4” wood carved by Julia R. Orta and the one on the right, made of clay, is 4.5” and comes from Portugal.
Also on my bookshelf, is a recent acquisition, a cloth doll from Michoacan that I named Chavelita. I got Chavelita at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center Mercadito de Paz—an annual folk-art festival– about 4 years ago. All handstitched and embroidered Chavelita is about 14 inches tall.
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center also has a clay art studio Mujerartes where women create beautiful pieces. This piece is 3” tall made by Vilma Sandra Velasco Vásquez.
Also from Mujerartes, San Antonio artist Enedina Vásquez’s danzante is 4.5” tall. I treasure this piece from a dear friend who recently passed away.
From Oaxaca’s Mexican folk artist Josefina Aguilar, I have this 6” tall cigarette smoking street walker from her Ladies of the Night series. I named her “La Güera” because of her blonde hair.
This 5.5-inch clay soldadera by National Heritage Award Fellow Verónica Castillo is one of my favorites. I named her Adelita.
This couple of tin work musicians stand 10” tall and hold candles for the Day of the Dead ofrenda.
I have a collection of odd dolls including a quinceañera doll that is in my archives at the University of Texas at San Antonio. To share here I chose two that are on my bookshelves: the Zapatista doll that a friend brought me from Chiapas about 20 years ago. The Zapatista is about 5 inches tall and made with what appear to be scraps of fabric and a wooden rifle.
If you are a folklorist or a collector of folklore/popular culture artifacts, please consider becoming a Guest Curator. Your objects will be highlighted here on a rotating basis.
All we ask is that the objects be yours, you have a photograph of the objects, and all or most of the information about the object (see the guidelines below, for more details).
Guest Curator Guidelines:
1. Artifacts must fall within the subject of our website (folklore, folk art, popular culture, etc).
2. Artifacts must be a part of your own personal collection.
3. Submissions must be limited to no more than five artifacts.
4. Submissions must contain a photograph of the artifact, as well as the title, purpose, country of origin, culture , materials, and dimensions of the artifact.
5. We also would like your photograph and a brief biography to accompany the collection.
Please contact, email@example.com and write Guest Curator in the subject line for further information or with any questions. We cannot wait to highlight your collection!