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 Bark Paper, is a form of traditional Mexican paper with pre-Hispanic origins. Traditional bark paper was considered a specialty of the village shaman and was used for special rituals. The Nahua and Otomi tribes eventually began using bark paper as a canvas for traditional paintings. Typically the Otomi of Puebla painstakingly craft the paper out of fig tree or mulberry tree bark and then sell it to the Nahua of Guerrero for painting. These bark paintings, papel amate, are an art form unique to the indigenous tribes of Mexico, and are sure to add more depth and culture to your home decor.