Indigenous Artisan Courses

Learn directly from artisans of the Chazutino and Lamista culture:

  • How to make ceramic bowls using the technique of rolls of clay.  Paint your bowl using clay and stones collected locally. Fire your pot in a Shuntu fire.
  • Weave a chumbe (a colourful belt with many ancient symbols.)
  • Basket weaving.
  • Ecological paper from coconut and banana stems.  

Chazutino and Quechua Lamista Ceramics

The Chazutinos possess a dynamic culture expressing themselves artistically through its ceramics.  The ceramics have always played a vital role in the community, making Chazutinos famous for being bona fide potters.   Chazuta’s traditional pottery is based on the known and widespread technique of rolls of clay, which are overlapped and smoothed to shape dishes for different purposes.
The Quechua Lamista artisans use a very similar technique.  Although there are slight differences in technique and the clay used –  in both cultures.  
Tarapoto tours | traditional ceramics | Chazuta
Rolls of Clay – Chazuta workshop.
The traditional potteries of Chazuta and Lamas combine masterfully three basic colours: white, black and red. This combination is the result of a long process of cultural exchange from the pre-Hispanic times.
The clay used as a base comes from quarries close to the communities. It is kneaded intensively with the feet, especially with the heels. Until the shaño, made with fragments of burnt and ground dishes, is added to prevent cracking during the firing process. 
A Quechua lamista artisan demonstrating the process of kneading the clay.
The traditional oven is open, with stacked firewood used as a fuel. This is an almost universal technique in the Amazon.  To finish, two products are applied immediately after burning: the copal resin and the “lacre”, a natural lacquer. The first makes the inside of the dish impermeable and the second gives brightness to the outside and protect the paint.
Kuechua Lamista - Ceramics Courses
Firing the clay pots – process called a Shuntu
Clay kiln – Chazuta

Ceramics in Chazuta

Have a go at a potters wheel moved manually with the feet
Ceramics course – Chazuta

Chazuta – learn how to make a ‘Ocarina Flute’

Chazuta Ceramics symbols 

San Roque De Cumbaza – Chunchiwi – courses in ceramics

Visit Chunchiwi a 1-hour walk from the village of San Roque De Cumbaza.  Learn how to make a basic ceramic bowl shape.  A real opportunity to feel what it is like inside the homes of the local indigenous houses.   Earth built houses and palm leaf roofs.  A really special once in a lifetime opportunity for children.
If you would like to fire your work on a Shuntu then you will have to return 5 days after making your pot.  To give the clay time to dry.

2 Day Full Culture: Chazuta and SRDC – Art Center ‘ Sachaqa Centro De Arte.

Courses in traditional ceramics with the Chazutino and Quechua Lamista artisans

Day 1: Course in Ceramics with a Quechua Lamista Artisan.

  • Walk to the home of Petrona experience a traditional Quechua Lamista setting.
  • Course in basic ceramics at the home of Petrona.
  • Lunch in the village
  • Walk back to the village and enjoy swimming in the River Cumbaza.
  • Overnight stay  and dinner at Sachaqa Centro De Arte.
Chunchiwi – home of Petrona
Overnight stay at Sachaqa Centro De Arte

Day 2: Course in ceramics with the Chazutino artisans.

  • Early morning start
  • 1 hour – Journey to Chazuta.
  • Coffe welcoming in Cultural Center and tour of the Joyce V Bartra sculpture gallery.
  • Course in ceramics learn how to make a basic bowl shape with the Chazutino artisans.
  • Lunch amazing food grown in the gardens of Rio Bosque Magico where you can buy energetic chocolate.
  • Visit the ‘Wasichay Traditional Ceramic Museum.’
  • Journey back to Tarapoto.

1 Day Trip 2 Day Trip 3 Day Trip

San Roque De Cumbaza – Chiricyacu – Ceramics or Chumbe weaving.

Visit Chiricyacu a 1 hour drive from the city of Tarapoto.  Here you can learn to make the traditional Lamista chumbe belt.  Used by the native Quechua Lamista farmers as an all purpose rope, which is used to carry wood and heavy loads, bananas, baskets that carry foods collected from the fields etc.   They are seen commonly throughout the local communities all over Peru.  An essential tool to have in the jungle where carrying heavy loads to places where there is no road access is commonplace.
The chumbe decorations are very symbolic you can learn what these symbols mean during your class.  It is an opportunity for anyone seeking to learn a unique and ancient textile craft. The village of Chiricyacu itself is breathtaking. 
A real oppotunity to feel what it is like inside the homes of the local indigenous houses.  Children are often playing and the women laughing. 
Indigenous village of Chiricyacu

Quechua Lamista village of Chiricyacu – workshops in chumbe weaving.

  • 1 hour drive to Chiricyacu.
  • Welcoming drink.
  • Begin your chumbe weaving course.
  • ‘Caldo de Gallina’  traditional chicken soup dish.
  • Continue with your course- learn about the symbols and myths and legends of the Quechua Lamista people.
  • Return drive to Tarapoto.


Chiricyacu – chumbe weaving
Indigenous village of Chiricyacu

Chazuta – courses in the making of ecological paper.

Learn how to make paper in this workshop using the pulp of Banana trees, normally cut and wasted after the banana fruit is ready; coconut is also used.  Making paper by hand is by no means an easy process; you can help with this physical process or just watch and learn.   Once you have learnt the art of paper making you could have a go using organic materials found in your local environment.


Cutting the banana palm with a machete
ecological paper
Ecological paper

2 Day Trip: Chazuta – courses in the making of ecological paper – includes 30 sheets of paper.

Day 1:

  • Journey to Chazuta.
  • Welcome drink at Joyce V Bartra Cultural Center – Tour of the Sculpture Gallery.
  • Paper making course.
  • Lunch at Rio Bosque Magico.
  • Learn how to make chocolate from the fruit to the final product.
  • Overnight stay at Joyce V Bartra Cultural Center.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast
  • Paper making course.
  • Lunch at Rio Bosque Magico.
  • Tour of Mishky Cacao chocolate factory and museums.
  • Journey back to Tarapoto.

The paper will be ready to take home in a week, if we have to send the paper that will cost extra.

Ecological paper


San Roque De Cumbaza – Basket weaving  

San Roque is a beautiful spot, where you can enjoy your time swimming in the River Cumbaza.  Spend an afternoon learning from local people,  how to make a basket with local organic materials.  It is possible to carry the basket on the plane. A great souvenir.


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