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portales







The high school volunteering I do isn't actually in a high school, it's at a special program for kids who have to amass a fair number of credits in a short period of time in order to graduate, and it's on the third floor of a downtown building. It shares space with a program for adults who never got their high school diploma, who are catching up on education and passing a high school equivalency test.

The program director had these little scenes hanging on her wall. She told me they're portales--representations of storefronts doorways (but a lot are storefronts; those are the ones I especially liked)--which are a folk craft. Hers come from Puerto Rico and Ecuador.



Here are some of them up close. If you can turn yourself small, you can go into them, and you'll find yourself in the actual place. I think. I mean, it stands to reason, right?





I said it would be fun to make those for storefronts here, and she said, "Wouldn't it! And our students would love it; they're so creative. I can't tell you how many times I've written grants for arts-related things, but we never win them."


Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
osprey_archer
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:30 am (UTC)
AAAAAH THOSE ARE SO ADORABLE. I WANT TO WALK THROUGH ONE RIGHT NOW.

They'd make a great children's fantasy book, too: a Puerto Rican girl, bored on a rainy afternoon, walks through one of the portales hanging on the wall, and thus begins her adventure... It would be an exciting new twist on portal fantasy.
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:56 am (UTC)
Aren't they?

Yeah: and maybe there's an underground tradition of people giving each other portales so they can get to one another quickly/secretly/without huge expense. Like, if you move to mainland USA, but you have a portale for the family home in Puerto Rico, you can get back there.
osprey_archer
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:07 am (UTC)
YES! Maybe the main character and her favorite cousin exchanged portales, and they like to visit each other - but of course eventually things go round somehow, as they always do in stories - one of the portales is broken, or something, with one of the cousins trapped inside, and the other has to mount a rescue mission...

Gosh, this would be super cool. I don't know enough about the cultures involved to write it, but I would read it so hard.
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:21 pm (UTC)
lifeinroseland commented below that they also make them in Venezuela--I'm thinking if they're that widespread, someone **has** to have written a story. Tell me Latin American writers wouldn't go to town with them! And if I find one, I intend to launch the full force of my rudimentary Spanish at it.
sartorias
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:56 am (UTC)
Those are so awesome! Oh, if I were rich, that would be exactly the kind of thing I'd underwrite. (That and rescuing animals and kids.)
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:05 pm (UTC)
Me too!
yamamanama
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:13 am (UTC)
What are they made out of?
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:09 pm (UTC)
Wood, mostly, but with details made of other things. The glasses in the last one are little tiny plastic glasses, and the items on display in the one before that I think are made out of clay.
sovay
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:04 am (UTC)
a folk craft. Hers come from Puerto Rico and Ecuador.

They are wonderful. I would love if your students could make them.
queenoftheskies
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:21 am (UTC)
Those are awesome!
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:11 pm (UTC)
I've been waiting for a chance to post them--I've been so busy, but last night I got a minute.
lifeinroseland
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:44 am (UTC)
They're made in Venezuela, too, where I'm from originally. I wanted one sooo badly. My mama spoils me & she got me two a couple of years ago.
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:14 pm (UTC)
Ohh!! Can you post pictures? Adding you as a friend (didn't realize I hadn't ... apologies!) so I can be sure not to miss, if you do.

What treasures they are.

Do you know any stories that feature portales in them? They seem so perfect for a fantasy story.
lifeinroseland
Mar. 16th, 2017 04:41 pm (UTC)
image.jpeg

The other one is just the rest of the set.

I kind of wanted something more along the lines of what you posted, but I have very neutral taste & my mom didn't want to take a risk. Also she doesn't like them. But a lot of people do have them in their houses.

I know next to nothing about Latinamerican literature, so no, I don't know of any stories.

You know there's also a toy, I think it's called "the fairy door" that little girls put on their wall. I remember saving a link cuz I thought it'd be such a cool gift.
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
Wow, yours is an interesting contrast--goes to show how very different they can be.

Whoever thought of the fairy door as a toy for children has a great instinct. These views into other worlds are so fun--scenes in Easter eggs are like that, too:

frigg
Mar. 16th, 2017 12:57 pm (UTC)
They are wonderful! Bet you couldn't stop looking at them :)
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 05:49 pm (UTC)
You're right! I love them.
amaebi
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:50 pm (UTC)
I love those portals.
asakiyume
Mar. 16th, 2017 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad.
oiktirmos
Mar. 17th, 2017 02:14 am (UTC)
They remind me of Mr. Rogers setting aside an empty tiny rocking chair for the viewer. The portales have a welcoming atmosphere.
asakiyume
Mar. 18th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
Don't they? What a great way to see the world.
mnfaure
Mar. 18th, 2017 09:19 am (UTC)
I spent part of my childhood near Portales, NM. Didn't even have to shrink...or did I!!!???? :P
asakiyume
Mar. 18th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
OMG imagine your actual size!!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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