Magical Lake Beings

by Fundación Huilo Huilo, 7th junio 2019


Introduction

The “taller” Seres Mágicos del Lago (Magical Lake Beings Workshop) began during the summer of 2009 and is aimed at the creation of fairies and elves that represent the flora and fauna of Lake Piriheico. 


Nuestra Historia

Before 2009, there had been numerous initiatives lead by the local municipal government to generate interest in making handicrafts, predominantly aimed at generating a source of income for the women of Puerto Fuy. One such example was a failed sewing workshop that did not last very long. However, in 2009, the Huilo Huilo Foundation invited the community to participate in a trial workshop led by Patricia Maragaño, a teacher who had already started such programs in Neltume.

The initial group of 26 women from the sewing workshop shrank to only 12 participants. Today, eight dedicated women work in the creation of the magical beings, all of whom are residents of Pureto Fuy. They have become extremely skilled through their growth as craftswomen, producing more in both quality and quantity than ever hoped when they began.

The Seres Mágicos del Bosque workshop is the only group that has their own workshop headquarters, which is located above the Café del Lago covering the entire second floor. The building was constructed by the municipal government of Panguipulli, but all of the furniture and the equipment was provided by the Huilo Huilo Foundation. This headquarters serves as the meeting place where the artisans can share, work and learn while building relationships with one another. The Huilo Huilo Foundation supports this workshop, as all others, by providing an instructor who meets with them twice a month, guides and teaches the women in the endeavor to perfect their practice. The instructor also occasionally helps the women conceptualize and make new models inspired by the nature of the lake and surrounding forests.


Our Products

All of our products are each made by hand; the structure is made of wire while the bodies and clothing are made of synthetic cotton and natural wool dyed in the needed colors. The size of the dolls varies, but most are small, offering a better cost differential between the material prices and the final product selling price. Each product takes between 8 and 12 hours to build in total, but each is made in a series of steps. In total, there are roughly 40 difference designs made by this workshop alone.

In the beginning, the workshop produced fairies with designed inspired by the trees on the surrounding shores of the lake. The Laurel (Scifi name) fairies were first, followed by the elf inspiried by the wini (Geoffrey’s Cat). The list continued to grow: fairies based on the Chilean hazelnut, the coralito (coral bead vine), the Star of the Andes (a local vine), the colocolo (another feline), the lingue (scifi name), to name a few. Male fairies also were thought up, inspiried by skiiers, Lake Pirihueico itself, the local fishermen, and the Gold Well (refering to a section of the lake that was mined for gold).

The themes associated with the lake extend to insects, birds and microfauna, such as dragonflies, the black-necked swan, and the diatoms asterionella and fragilairia. The workshop also consistently contributes to the knowledge and apreciation of the organisms that live in and around the lake, giving each beautiful artistic personalities.

The economic impact this workshop has had on the artisans is lifechanging. For some, this is their sole source of income for themselves or their households. Most complement the family income with their work. The work has also furthered the human development of those involved, changing their lives from one based on household chores to one that is creative and in constant contact with their natural surroundings.


Where To Find Us

1. Café del Bosque
2. Café del Duende
3. Cafetería de la Selva Patagonia de la Montaña Mágica
4. Café del Lago