Amate Painting


Amate is a form of paper that has been manufactured in Mexico since the pre-Hispanic times. Amate paper was extensively produced and used for communication, records and ritual during the Aztec Empire; however, after the Spanish conquest, its production was mostly banned and replaced by European paper. Amate paper production never completely died, nor did the rituals associated with it. It remained strongest in the rugged mostly inaccessible mountain areas of northern Puebla and northern Veracruz states, with the small village of San Pablito in Puebla noted its shamans’ production of paper with “magical” properties. This ritual paper use drew the attention of foreign academics in the mid 20th century, which alerted the Otomi people of the area of the commercial possibility of the paper. They began to sell it in cities such as Mexico City, where the paper was adopted by Nahua painters from Guerrero to create “new” indigenous craft, which was then promoted by the Mexican government.

Through this and other innovations, amate paper is one of the most widely available Mexican indigenous handicrafts, sold both nationally and abroad. Most attention is on the Nahua paintings of the paper, which is also called “amate” but Otomi paper makers have also received attention not only for the paper itself but for crafts made with it such as elaborate cut outs. (Wikipedia)

Amate Lesson Plan – Wendy Tucker

Amate Lesson Plan – Submitted by: Grace Hall, Bogalusa High School (Now teaching at Abney Elementary, St. Tammany Parish Schools – Grades K-3)

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