viernes, 2 de mayo de 2008

Wood, foliage and flowers

The surrounding mountain side provides most of the construction materials used to build the silletas.
Beside the silletero there’s his inseparable companion: the plants. Coming from high Andean forests, from own gardens or neighbors’ gardens, from orchards, from pastures or commercial green houses, plants make part of the structure (wood and foliage) and the decoration (flowers and fruit) of the different kinds of silletas. Trees like the winter’s bark, the cypress pine or the araucaria provide the wood to build the silleta structure, while the chusco —or tripe’perro vine— is used to give support to the fern, cycas or pine foliage. On this structure, the silletero arranges the flowers in an infinite number of ways, giving them an expression according to his tastes, feelings and passions.

Rosa amarilla. Tajetes sp

  The plants used in the silletas come from different places: some are native to our Andean forests, particularly the trees from which the silleteros get the wood to build up the silleta structure. Some foliage make up the base and give support to the flowers. There are also many wild flowers in the traditional silletas. From those forests, the silletero also gets orchids, ground thistles, anthuriums and an endless number of species that cannot be found but there, while such flowers like begonias, carnations, morning glories, jellies, bell flowers, and irises come from his gardens. Other plants, especially those with a commercial value, have been introduced from Africa or Europe. They have been grown and improved in our milieu. We may cite pompons and their multiple shapes, gerberas with their striking colors, as well as roses, carnations, agapanthuses and dahlias.

Caléndula. Tajetes sp

 The Silleteros Parade is dynamic, it evolves and recreates. Also the plant species —especially the flowers the silleteros set up in their silletas— have changed along with the parade. These changes along the 50 years of the parade have occurred due to the introduction of new commercial varieties, to the use of some wild plants that had not been considered before, and to the fact that some plants have fallen into oblivion due to their scarce cultivation or because they have lost value in the market. These aspects further reveal the great variety of our flora, which offers the silletero multiple possibilities of use.

Astromelia. Alstroemeria aurea Graham.

  The silletero looks for exclusiveness, variety, coloring and artistic expression and transmits all this by carefully selecting and arranging the flowers on the silleta. Year after year, he searches for new plants, new forms of usage, he innovates by trying new combinations, especially with the designs he makes on the emblematic silletas. It is common, for instance, to use seeds or dry fruit shells to achieve either original decorations or unique color shades. We may also see our silletero exhaustively looking for new flowers at different markets in the country or planting seeds of exotic varieties in his garden in view of getting new elements to impress the judges or the unaware public watching this multicolor show.

Barita de San José. Iris japonica Thunb.

   Plants and silletero conjugate to enliven the parade, the city and the spirit of the people of Antioquia. By nature, Antioquians love flowers and admire their beauty and splendor, they are tillers par excellence, and they keep their traditions in their blood. Plants and silleteros are symbols of Medellín, a city that is reflected on its flowers.

Cresta de gallo. Celosia argentea L.

Gasa. Gypsophylla paniculata L.

Éxtasis o Estatis. Limonium simuatum (L.) Mill.

Hinojo. Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Clavellina. Dianthus cf deltoides L.

Conchita. Begonia sp

Azucena. Lillium sp

Astromelia. Alstroemeria aurea Graham

Tritoma o llama. Kniphofia uvaria (L.) Hook.

Chilca. Baccharis sp

Agapanto morado. Agapanthus praecox Willdenow

Ruda. Ruta graveolens L.

Anís. Tajetes sp

Lirio Valdivia. Gladiolus sp

Rosa criolla grande. Rosa canina L.

Mermelada. Streptosolen jamesonii (Benth.) Miers

Clavellina. Dianthus cf deltoides L.

Cartucho. Zantedeschia aethiopica (L.) Spreng.

Cortejo. Pelargonium sp

Fucsias o bailarinas. Fuchsia sp

Chispas. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora (Lemoine ex E. Morren) N.E. Br.

Campano. Abutilon insigne Planch.

Lagrimón. Fuchsia boliviana Carrière

Novios. Pelargonium sp

Varsovia. Watsonia sp

Clavel criollo. Dianthus caryophyllus L.

Pensamiento. Viola tricolor L.

Cortejo. Pelargonium sp

Novios. Pelargonium sp

Cortejo. Pelargonium sp

Manzanilla. Matricaria chamomilla L.

Geranio. Pelargonium sp

Hortensias. Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser.

Gaticos. Lychnis viscaria L.

Prontoalivio. Lantana camara L.

Estrella de Belén. Ornithogalum sp

Chochos. Lupinus ulbrichianus C.P. Sm.

Dalia. Dalhia pinnata Cav.

Sauco. Sambucus nigra L.

Boca de dragón. Anthirrinus majus L.

Boca de dragón. Anthirrinus majus L.

Margarita. Leucanthemum vulgare Tourn. ex Lam.

Lirio criollo. Gladiolus sp

Botón de oro. Helichrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Haw.

Rosa criolla grande. Rosa canina L.

Rosa criolla grande. Rosa canina L.

Margarita doble o crespa. Leucanthemum cf. vulgare Tourn. ex Lam.

Nardos. Freezia sp

Aroma. Pelargonium sp

Rosa criolla miniatura. Rosa canina L.

By: Carlos Alberto Gutiérrez Vásquez