Central America’s Creative Roots

Frida Larios

The Creative Roots blog “creates an art and design collection, based on countries of the world. Every post has some historical or cultural relationship expressed through art and design, which is either related to or influenced by a specific country.”

The International Indigenous Design Network [INDIGO] was born to research, promote and celebrate indigenous design around the world, through highlighting local and multicultural design.

Now an El Salvador and Central American indigenous art-inspired project like the New Maya Language has participation on this significant blog, aiding in the promotion of the unique INDIGO platform.

Check out the Central America category that has a colourful range of art and design projects.


New Maya Language Book Cover

Image on the Creative Roots website

My Mother Tongue Submission

Frida Larios, Montreal, Taipei

YAL - Child of Mother

yal – Child of mother

The Maya natives of Mesoamerica, in their nearly 2000-year ancient hieroglyphic writing, pictured the “thumbs-up” hand as a symbol of harvesting, completing, and binding. In the case of the word ya-AL (yal), the harvest is a child – the fruits of the womb. In the same way our mother tongue is the product of our upbringing and culture. The flames represent the fire coming out of our mouth when we speak – when we speak with the passion of our native language.

This was my submission executed in the ancient Maya art of calligraphy (click here to see more works with this technique).  You are welcome to submit your own visual, verbal or written piece on the INDIGO, Mother Tongue project, website.

Mother Tongue [Lengua Materna] Call for Entries

Frida Larios

Lengua Materna: Invitándolos a enviar sus proyectos visuales o verbales.

Mother Tongue is about the power of language –verbal and visual, formal and informal. First language. Native language. It honours languages at risk of being lost in our globalising society and those that have survived the forces of colonisation.

Mother Tongue es acerca del poder del lenguaje – verbal y visual, formal e informal. La primera lengua. La lengua nativa. Honra a las lenguas en riesgo de ser pérdidas por nuestra sociedad globalizada y las que han sobrevivido las fuerzas de la colonización.

A todos mis amigos diseñadores, artistas, arquitectos, escritores o poetas:

Los invito a participar en Mother Tongue, una exhibición enlinea que trata de estimular el diálogo creativo entre diseñadores indígenes y no-indígenas, estudiantes de diseño, poetas y escritores. Mother Tongue celebra el hecho de que por debajo e indistinta…mente de que lengua hablemos, todos somos iguales.

Fechas claves:

1 June: Anuncio del brief
12 de Julio: Se inicia periodo de envío de trabajos
1 de Diciembre: Fecha límite de entrega

Pueden obtener más información y descargar el brief y todos los detalles aquí en el website de INDIGO.

Honoured to be named an INDIGO Ambassador

Frida Larios

Montréal, Canada – I was honoured to accept the role of INDIGO Ambassador last week.  INDIGO is an International Council of Graphic Design Associations or ICOGRADA led initiative that supports and celebrates modern indigenous design through uniting designers and their cultural contexts through a global collaborative platform.  I am fascinated by INDIGO and its aspirations, as expressed by Brenda Sanderson, icograda’s Managing Director:

Showcasing indigenous design as a vibrant and living profession, not simply drawing on historical practice and iconography engaging indigenous populations in a manner that is inclusive and respectful, and empowers improved livelihoods.

Indigo is represented by ambassadors from around the world: Australia, the United States, El Salvador, Zimbabwe, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia and Switzerland. They are individuals committed to creating an awareness of the network, its projects and promoting engagement with designers, stakeholders and the public at large within their communities.

As an Ambassador I hope to be able to open a space for indigenous design dialogue in the Central American region for crafters, designers, stakeholders and their audience. Even though the region is rich in traditional native art and craft, designers are still to discover its potential transforming it into research, collaborative projects and products that enhance history – with a modern voice – that speaks to our own Central American citizens, the international community and the public sector.

Respect and knowledge of indigenous populations, the main actors and carriers of unique ancestral artistry, is key for the INDIGO local network (that I intend to promote) to be able to evolve design inclusive of ethnic, environmental and social context. Furthermore, indigenous design needs to create a real platform for the improvement of livelihoods in third world conditions’ framework. INDIGO is a beautiful ICOGRADA project that can help embrace local identities shared on a global scale and I hope my participation will contribute to reach these objectives.