Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ancient Mexican craft: papel picado

- Papel picado (punched paper) is a Mexican popular art form with roots in the country's ancient cultures. The Aztecs used the bark of wild mulberry and fig trees to make a rough paper called amatl . Amatl was used to make flags and banners to decorate temples, streets and homes.

Today, professional craftsmen use awls, chisels and blades to make intricate designs depicting flowers, birds, angels, crosses, skeletons, historic figures and even words. The design the pattern on a piece of paper and then cut through it and as many as 50 sheets of tissue paper with their special tools.