Bark PaintingsThis section of our interactive art gallery features one of the most unique art forms in the world. The Nahua Indians of Guerrero, Mexico have transferred their skills of intricate painting on pottery to painting on paper made from the bark of trees.
Bark paper, or papel amate, is produced by hand in the state of Puebla by Otomi Indians using bark from the mulberry or fig trees. The mulberry tree creates off-white paper, while the fig tree creates much darker paper. The bark is washed, boiled, and laid in lines on a wooden board. The fibers are then beaten with a stone until they fuse together.
The paper finds its way to the Nahua Indians of southern Mexico who have excelled for several generations at painting bright village and wildlife scenes on the hand-made paper. In addition, we now are proud to offer classic Mayan design bark paintings that depict important deities and glyphs in Mayan culture.