November 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Guatemala: Tourism: Art: Folk Art: Times Herald: After graduating from UCLA, Gordon Frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guatemala: Peace Corps Guatemala: The Peace Corps in Guatemala: November 14, 2004: Headlines: COS - Guatemala: Tourism: Art: Folk Art: Times Herald: After graduating from UCLA, Gordon Frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

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After graduating from UCLA, Gordon Frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

After graduating from UCLA, Gordon Frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

After graduating from UCLA, Gordon Frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

Native Arts
Artwork from
Around the World

By Mike Lerseth
Times-Herald staff writer

Gordon Frost figures a weakness in one part of his educational upbringing actually paved the way for another, even more rewarding outlet. After graduating from UCLA, frost joined the Peace Corps and spent 1967-69 in the Latin American country of Guatemala. While there, the economics major began gathering a good-sized collection of native arts for his own enjoyment.

Upon returning to the United States, Frost did what anyone would probably do, he showed off his goodies. "When I came back, I showed the collection to some museum curators and they said I had a natural eye," said Frost. "I think itís because I donít have a natural eye for economics."

"Iím just doing something I like to do."

Needless to say, 20 years later the field of economics is just a supplement to his primary enterprise, Gordon Frost Folk Art Collection.

"I have one of the largest collections of native textiles and dance masks and just about every other type of paraphernalia you can imagine," said Frost. His works have been displayed across the country, including West Coast visits to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Peninsula Museum of Art in Monterey.

"When I was at UCLA. My other classes were things like ĎIndians of the Americasí and ĎGeography of Central America.í I always liked the idea when I was a little kid of Indians and totem poles, I had a real attraction to it. "Itís fun to follow my attraction and see if I could make it my livelihood."

The answer, unequivocably, is yes.

After almost a decade of making personal trips to Guatemala and Peru, Frost decided to expand his excursions and invite a group of friends along to share the knowledge he had acquired over the years.

"In 1977, I took a study group of people who I knew down there. In two weeks the trip was full. We went out into the boonies and fanned out in different directions and they loved it."

Now he takes two or three groups down every year and heís not yet failed to reach his desired capacity ... "Thatís a good number, itís large enough to be a group with personality, but not too large to handle."

As word of his ability spread, so too did the range of people interested in accompanying him. Recent trips have included citizens of Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and West Germany as well as a wide variety of people from across the United States.

Not so surprisingly, Frostís desire to seek and explore elsewhere grew as well. After Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia, he looked across the Pacific Ocean and made Bali, Java, and Indonesia his targets of choice.
temple carving, Bali
"Iíve been taking groups to Bali and Java the four years (12 years now). Iím already fluent in Spanish, but now I need to learn to speak Bahasa Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia."

Itís much easier said than done.

Indonesia, like so many island nations is filled with different languages and dialects Ė 300 in all.

"(Bahasa Indonesian is based on the Malay language) is essentially a trading language," said Frost. "Arabs would come (from Malaysia) down the coast of Sumatra, (Java, and Bali) and thatís the language they would speak.
"But in Bali, a fellow (may) speak English and three levels of Balinese Ė high, middle, and low, depending on who theyíre talking to or what theyíre talking about."

The most collectible item (among many) from Bali is the highly popular barong mask. Itís a very large character, a thing that takes two people to operate it and the head is just one piece," said Frost. "Itís very similar to a Chinese dragon.

"The barong is a good guy, he saves the good guys from evil, a very lovable character. People immediately love the barong dance. Heís sort of a big friendly oaf in the forest."

Frostís last visit to Bali was in July and it was sandwiched by Easter and August trips to Guatemala.

"Next year will be a similar format, but by 1992 I think Iíll be going back to Peru again and Iím tinkering with the idea of Mexico again, too."

Regardless, Frost handles all the trips exclusively. There is no middleman or assistant. "I donít want to farm it out, tours can become real canned when farmed out. I go on each trip and if I hear about something interesting, we do it." "I rely on my own judgment. I donít want to be looked at as a professional tour guide, but just someone whoís knowledgeable about places where tour guides donít go."

Someone who has an eye for what he loves to do.





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Story Source: Times Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guatemala; Tourism; Art; Folk Art

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