This handmade bark painting is a variation of the Mayan Tablet of Slaves. The relief depicts the retirement celebration of King Pacal's military chief. He is shown with his parents, who must have been of royal blood as they are presenting him with important emblems of social status.
Papel Amate, or painted bark paper, is an art form with clear pre-Hispanic origins. Originally, traditional bark paper was considered a specialty of the village shaman and used only for special rituals. Later, the Nahua and Otomi tribes began to use bark paper as a canvas for painting. Typically, the Otomi of Puebla will craft the paper from fig or mulberry tree bark, then sell or trade the homemade paper to the Nahua Indians of Guerrero for painting. These bark paintings, or papel amate, are not just an art form unique to the indigenous tribes of Mexico, but will add rich depth and culture to your home decor.