Mexican Amate Paintings

Appropriate for grades: K - 12
Subject areas: History and Social Studies Visual and Performing Arts

Amatl (Amate {Spanish}) from the Nahuatl (NA-watl) language means “paper”. Amate is made from the pulp of the fig and mulberry trees. The state of Puebla to the east of Mexico City is known for their amate paper production and the artisans in small town San Pablito, who are of Otomί ancestery, continue to practice this ancient tradition of paper making. To the southwest in the State of Guerrero, amate paper is brightly decorated with beautiful scenes depicting everyday life of the villagers, such as the harvest, fiestas, weddings, religious customs and wildlife. Spanish Language Version

Teaching / Learning Goals:

Teachers and students will …


  •  Learn about the process of making amate and its use over time to convey important events and transmit cultural values (historical and cultural understanding).
  • Explore the imagery used in amate painting (perceiving, analyzing and responding).
  • Use their own imagery to create amate paintings (creating and performing).

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