The art of gourd carving has been practiced in Peru for over 4,000 years. This ancient technique has been perfected and enhanced over time, but you will still see traditional Peruvian motifs on gourds in today’s marketplace. In addition, you’ll find designs including intricate butterflies, a variety of animals, including cats and dogs, and you’ll even see uniquely shaped gourds that are made to look like birds with long necks. I am always amazed when I see a new take on mate (ma-tay), or gourd art. The creativity and talent of the artisans shines through in each new design they create. Although the organic/natural movement may seem like a relatively new thing, this organic art form never went out of style in Peru. Modern day artisans honor this ancient tradition by using their mate designs in a variety of decorative ways. Mate jewelry is my favorite, and you’ll find several gourd jewelry designs at Tikanchay.