The country of Mexico has a long coastline. The country that links the two American continents is flanked by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. This in itself would indicate an economy rich in fishing. As well, Mexico is also home to several lakes and rivers that are popular among anglers.
The economy of a country is often reflected in its art and culture. Therefore, it should be no wonder that Mexican folk art abounds in fish-inspired artworks. The fish-shaped wooden dance rattle is a beautiful example of the wealth of Mexican folk art.
The fish-shaped rattle has been carved out of wood entirely by hand, and then hand-painted. This rattle is generally used to provide accompaniment during the Danza del Pescadores or the "dance of the fishermen". The vibrantly painted fish is hollow. Three smaller hand-carved and hand-painted fish are placed inside. When the big fish is shaken, the little wooden fish rattle inside. This is symbolic for Mexican fishermen – it expresses hope for a rich harvest of fish.
The fish rattle measures 17 inches in length and 8 inches in height. It stands at its widest from fin tip to fin tip with a measurement of 8½ inches.
This particular fish rattle is an antique piece that has been part of a private collection for close to thirty years. Collector Gloria Anver had this exquisite Mexican folk art fish rattle as part of her collection. Many other of the pieces in Ms. Alver's collection were acquired during a museum auction in Connecticut.
Generally speaking, folk art tends to be inexpensive. However, these pieces are more than just folk art; they are antiques, remnants from a different era.
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