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Retablos are a sophisticated Andean folk art in the form of portable boxes which depict religious, historical, or everyday events that are important to the Indigenous people of the highlands of Peru and Bolivia.
The Spanish word retablo comes from the Latin retro-tabulum (behind the table or altar), which was later shortened to retabulum. This is a reference to the fact that the first retablos were placed on or behind the altars of Catholic churches in Spain and Latin America. They were three-dimensional statues or images inside a decorated frame.
Retablo artists use simple wood tools and a plaster made with potato starch, to bring colorful, hand-shaped figurines to life. Full scenes are arranged inside painted wooden boxes with hinged doors and usually one or more shelves displaying religious and every day life scenes.
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