Hecho a Mano
The Traditional Arts of Tucson's Mexican American Community
Arts as intimate as a piece of needlework or a home altar. Arts as visible as decorative iron, murals, and low riders. Through such arts, members of Tucson's Mexican American community contribute much of the cultural flavor that defines the city to its residents and to the outside world. Now Tucson folklorist Jim Griffith celebrates these public and private artistic expressions and invites us to meet the people who create them.
- Josefina Lizárraga learned to make paper flowers as a girl in her native state of Nayarit, Mexico, and ensures that this delicate art is not lost.
- Ornamental blacksmith William Flores runs the oldest blacksmithing business in town, a living link with an earlier Tucson.
- Ramona Franco's family has maintained an elaborate altar to Our Lady of Guadalupe for three generations.
- Signmaker Paul Lira, responsible for many of Tucson's most interesting signs, brings to his work a thoroughly mexicano sense of aesthetics and humor.
- Muralists David Tineo and Luis Mena proclaim Mexican cultural identity in their work and carry on a tradition that has blossomed in the last twenty years.
Featuring a foreword by Tucson author Patricia Preciado Martin and a spectacular gallery of photographs, many by Pulitzer prize-winning photographer José Galvez, this remarkable book offers a close-up view of a community rich with tradition and diverse artistic expression. Hecho a Mano is a piñata bursting with unexpected treasures that will inspire and inform anyone with an interest in folk art or Mexican American culture.
"A fascinating book that documents the public and private artistic expressions that help make Tucson the extraordinary place that it is."—Arizona Daily Star
"Like a friend or relative who is eager to introduce visitors to the sights and sounds of his hometown, Griffith leads readers on a whirlwind tour celebrating Mexicano arts and crafts. One would be hard-pressed to find a better guide. . . . An engaging work that will be greatly appealing to folk art aficionados."—Western Folklore
"Griffith is a superb guide. Everything he writes is a reflection of his own passionate feelings of respect, as well as his ability to observe and interpret minutiae. Thus he encourages us to discover each other and, in turn, ourselves."—Journal of Arizona History