The recent donation of more than 50 pieces of pre-Hispanic pottery has triggered plans to open a museum space at the Ajijic Casa de Cultura.
Center Director Efren Gonzalez said the donor, Sergio Diaz. wants people “to see the collection in a place where it is protected.”
Among the pieces are cups, jars and jugs with rope designs worked in the clay, dishes and three-legged bowls with beautiful painted and etched designs, and even a cunning dark clay dish that features a duck’s head, wings and tail.
Gonzalez also highlighted some heavily decorated beads strung onto nylon thread. “It is unusual to find this many beads that match and that appear to have been crafted together all those centuries ago,” he said. “Occasionally if a tomb is opened, the archeologists will discover an entire necklace, but those are special circumstances.
“Díaz told me he can’t accurately date all of the items but experts think everything was created in Jalisco and Colima.”
Gonzalez recognized that the center will need to safely house and display the items, possibly converting the store into a museum space.
“I’m envisioning simple metal and glass cabinets that will last a long time and can be safely locked,” Gonzalez said. “One thing is for sure, we’re not going to order fancy cabinets. We’ll make them right here and buy the glass from the local shops. Maybe some of them will have pieces left over that we can use.”
The cases needed to display the pieces are likely to cost the cultural center in the region of 20,000 to 30,000 pesos, even with some donated labor.
“We already have the first pledge of 1,000 pesos,” said Gonzalez. “I’m just so thrilled that Ajijic has received this marvelous gift. Our permanent collections in the Casa de Cultura keep growing and evolving. It pleases me to know we are gathering these things for coming generations to see and enjoy.”