The wooden dough bowl has always had a part in the lives of the Tarahumara Indian people. In the Sierra Madre mountain region of Northern Mexico, the Tarahumara people have primitive lifestyles and live in rustic dwellings. They earn a living by making handcrafts to sell like the wooden dough bowl. I have always been impressed with the colorful baskets, weavings, jewelry and other hand-made items produced by this Tribe. It is fascinating that although the women are the primary crafters in the family, the Tarahumara men are very talented working with wood and produce incredible works of art using simple and unsophisticated tools. Along with wooden dough bowls, they also carve wooden spoons, figurines and traditional game balls used in the world renowned foot races. These wooden items have a rustic beauty, uniquely enhanced by the natural characteristics of the wood.
You will also find it fascinating how the wooden dough bowls are created. The making of the wooden bowl is begun by hand chiseling a piece of pine wood taken from a fallen tree trunk. Native American log bowls are made by shape with splitting the trunk in half and then roughly cutting it with an axe. The wood is then chiseled into a bowl like h a machete or large knife, giving it that appealing, rough and primitive aspect. This classic style is the same way that antique dough bowls have been made throughout northern Mexico for generations.
As you study these incredible Indigenous people, you will learn that the wood dough bowl plays an important role in the Tarahumara home. It is used to hand-grind corn and wheat to make hand-made tortillas, an important part of the Tarahumara diet. They then start by smashing the kernels into a stone bowl called a metate. The dough bowl is then placed at one end of the metate to catch the corn or wheat flour as it is ground by hand. Water is then added to the flour in the bowl and tortillas are made by hand from the dough. Although still used by the Tarahumara Tribe for food and other cooking purposes, today dough bowls are made available to buyers for rustic decorating accessories and as Indian art for collecting.
You can use dough bowls for a number of things. They are great as collectibles, fruit bowls, and when combined with home decorating accessories. They are also great when used for art projects when a blank canvas is needed for colorful paintings and other Native American style artwork. Dough bowls, painted with scenes of the southwest, are very unique and are an exciting way to bring the old west to life in your home. A painted dough bowl creates a unique point of interest for any mountain style room, cabin, lodge or ranch style home by adding the rich warm colors typical of southwest artwork.
You can buy wood dough bowls online and in many stores that sell southwest and Native American style home decor products. It is easy to give genuine Native style to your home, or to give your room an authentic rustic look by simply hanging a southwestern, painted dough bowl on the wall. If you like the unique traditions and American Indian values, you will enjoy displaying a piece of their amazing artwork as part of your interior design. To bring true Native style design to your home and bring about a look that is truly authentic, use a genuine native style wooden dough bowl to bring great character to your home decor.
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about choosing a wooden dough bowl for rustic style decorating.