Events

The “AMATES” exhibition will be on display daily from January 17th – February 16th, 2017

It will also feature glimpses of Indian traditional, folk and tribal art such as Gond, Madhubani and Pattachitra paintings.

Jan 17, 2017
It will also feature glimpses of Indian traditional, folk and tribal art such as Gond, Madhubani and Pattachitra paintings.
 
What is “Amates”?
 
The Amate paper (from the Nahuatl word: amatl), is a type of bark paper which dates back to pre-Hispanic times in Mexico.
 
It is an indigenous papermaking tradition that survives in the small village of San Pablito. The Amate paper is made in a traditional manner which involves the crushing of bark from white and red Jonote trees (Ficus cotinifolia y Ficus padifolia). The resulting pulp is then boiled in limewater.  The outcome is a vegetable fibrous sheet of colours ranging from dark brown to yellow. During the pre-Hispanic period, Amate was used for different purposes such as, ritual offerings, payment of tributes and as a surface for the elaboration of codices.
 
Amate paintings are made in brown and white bark. Brown paper usually features colorful paintings, made with acrylic colors, depicting flowers, birds, deer or rabbits and every day stories from the community such as fishing, hunting and harvesting. White Amate paper is used in more intricate drawings made with pen and ink representing stories of the community life.
 
Amate paper production as a commercial craft-work started due to the merging of two indigenous traditions: the Otomi community of San Pablito, Puebla, who manufacture the bark paper and the Nahua community in the state of Guerrero, who decorate it using bright colors.
 

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