This thesis explores the ceramic work of the Kichwa people, a culture indigenous to the Ecuadorian Amazon. They represent the largest indigenous group in their region of the Amazon, numbering around 100,000 inhabitants and are also a group unique in that they are consistently producing ceramic pieces, which they are able to do because of their use in utility and sales. They create small, very thin, coil bowls that are decorated with red, white, and black mineral slips called mucawas. The creation of the mucawa is examined, and then translated. Going through the clay, the form, slip, and glaze their traditional methods and culturally significant designs are brought into a modern ceramic studio. Heavy inspiration is taken from their work, but many of the tools are different in such a different setting. Furthermore, my own ceramic pieces were created based off the specific themes within Kichwa craftsmanship. Each of the forms were created using similar processes and resources to that of the mucawas. The results of the project were 12 replica mucawas created using my own methods and resources more suited for the environment in which I live and work, as well as an additional 5 ceramic pieces based around the ideas behind Kichwa pottery creation.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2016


Joe Molinaro

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Art and Design

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Art and Design