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  • ICAA Record ID
    Los 'mates' y el yaravi / José Sabogal
    Amauta (Perú). -- No. 26 (Sep.-Oct. 1929)
    p. 18-19 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Sabogal, José. "Los mates y el yaravi." Amauta (Perú), no. 26 (September-October 1929): 18-19.

In "Los 'mates' y el yaraví," published in 1929 in the review Amauta, Peruvian artist José Sabogal describes the beauty of the Peruvian Andes as both picturesque and musical. Sabogal poetically depicts the typical sights and sounds of the Andes: the quena [flute], the echo of the mountains, the clouds, women singing, indigenous dances, and the babble of streams. According to him, mates [drinking gourds] carved by artists in Ayacucho and Huanta are examples of fine indigenous craftsmanship and skillfully represent the musical and pictorial beauty of Peru. These gourds are carved and painted in a “simple” style with Incan legends and scenes of Peruvian everyday life and agriculture. According to Sabogal the decoration of the Peruvian mates combines the realism of Spanish art with the visual rhythm of the Andes and of indigenous handicrafts. In this sense, writes Sabogal, the mate represents the visual equivalent of the yaraví: a traditional Peruvian song developed from a fusion of pre-Romantic Spanish poetry, and the harawi, an Incan ritual song.


Peruvian painter José Sabogal (1888–1956) was a major figure of Andean indigenismo [indigenism] in art. Although Sabogal himself was of Spanish descent, he actively promoted Peruvian indigenous culture. Sabogal studied in Lima before traveling in 1908 to Italy and North Africa. He also studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A six-month stay in Cuzco in 1916 sparked Sabogal’s interest in depicting Peru’s indigenous inhabitants. Shortly thereafter he had his first exhibition at Casa Brandes in Lima. In the 1920s Sabogal visited Mexico where he met the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. He taught at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Lima beginning in 1920, and he became the director of the school in 1932. He also founded the Instituto Libre de Arte Peruano along with Luis E. Valcárcel. From 1926 to 1930, he was involved with José Carlos Mariátegui and his publication Amauta. “Los 'mates' y el yaraví" was published in 1929 in Amauta. The article relates to Sabogal’s interest in the representation and valorization of indigenous Peruvian culture.

Molly Moog, ICAA Intern 2012
International Center for the Arts of the Americas, MFAH, Houston, USA
Courtesy of Isabel Maria, Ana Bozena and Maria Jadwiga Sabogal Dunin Borkowski, Lima, Peru