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Pedro Reyes Millán remains at the forefront

He considers himself a craftsman by birth

At almost 84 years of age, the experienced teacher Pedro Reyes Millán (Nueva Esparta, June 12, 1940) admits achievements and stagnant points in his long career at the forefront of the artisan movement, where he has garnered national recognition, undoubted advances in the territory of his magical creative contribution around the modeling of the tapara and unfathomable abysses.

Together with his inseparable life partner, Nora Lew, he was present at the meeting of Venezuelan traditions that marked the start of the Viva Venezuela World Festival, and in meetings and workshops generated as a result of one of the most compelling measurements obtained by the national census. of the Great Mission Viva Venezuela, mi Patria Querida, which was able to count the presence of almost 200 thousand artisans throughout the country, this being the sector with the greatest numerical strength of culture, which led to the launch of the Artisan Heart Movement.

But the long term of his immense contribution apparently does not find an adequate replacement generation. “The effort I made a few years ago, to carry out more than 100 workshops in different states, has not borne the fruits that I expected. There are very few people who have managed to express themselves with skill and creativity in the handling of taparo, of that raw material,” he laments.

He has been called a sorcerer, a teacher, an artist. National awards, professorships, conventions and artisan meetings are named after him.

He considers himself an artisan by birth, forged in the cradle of a manger-workshop on the seashore, another sign of his busy existence that took him from his native Juan Griego and moved him to Mérida, where he still produces illusion gadgets with his powerful hands. , with which he has stripped the ears of the branches that have been his life since he learned to twist the raw material in his favor, until he registered his thirst for justice in the armed struggle, first against the dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez and then against the oppressive system of the Fourth Republic.

And it remains at the forefront. We assume part of a front that seeks to revalue culture and with it our identity.

A genius in combat

  • Raw material. He has managed to model the tapara, the fruit of the taparo tree, from the plant to give it unprecedented shapes through molds that allow it to acquire capricious shapes of great beauty.
  • In the leather. To work with this raw material, it created its own technology called pyrography molded leather.
  • Guerrilla. At the young age of 15 he asked his father to get involved, like him, in the armed struggle. He founded the MIR. Arrested and escaped, he is sought by state security agencies while he remained in hiding.
  • His fetishes. There are no surprises: the tools, especially engraving tools such as chisels and the dremel

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