Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bookmark Tuesday/ Living Art

I was so excited when I found Living Art: Designs and Crafts of the Otomi of San Pablito on the sale table of the Jabberwocky Bookstore in Newburyport. I have had a love affair with amate paper from San Pablito for many years. It is one of the main papers I use in the Spirit Books. I love its colors, its texture, and its history. Amate has an ancient tradition. It was used in the folded accordion books of the Maya and Aztecs and is still being made today by the Otomi in the village of San Pablito. There it is used to make cut figures used in ceremonies and made for sale as sheets of paper. Author Kerin Gould lived in the community of San Pablito from 1995 to 1997. She writes about life in the remote village where the primary source of income comes from crafts: amate, embroidery, beadwork, and carved wooden benches in the shape of animals. She sensitively describes life in San Pablito as well as the struggles of an economy based on artisans, and the future of the culture. The book is filled with beautiful photographs of both life in the village and the crafts.

You can also find out more about the making of amate here.

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