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Norberto Fabian Xuana, the 42-year-old son of master Oaxacan woodcarver, Ventura Fabian, has been engulfed in the world of woodcarving since birth. Ventura had already expanded from carving masks for the town festivals to creating his unique dancing chickens and other fabulous creatures, but his mother’s family, the Xuanas, were also well-known in the Oaxacan woodcarving world. Norberto first picked up a carving knife when he was 12, having already absorbed the discipline and work ethic of his father.
Norberto graduated from a small junior college in the nearby village of Ocotlán with a certificate in technical construction, and had taken classes in computer science, but felt called upon to develop his skills in carving and painting to continue in the footsteps of his father as a “campesino-artesano.” His inspiration, he believes, comes from the life and his memory of his father and the love of his children, which “unite my mind, my heart and my hands.”
Oaxacan Wood-carving, Painting