Monday, March 17, 2014

Mexican Folk Art: Amate Painting

As long as humans have existed, art has been an important part of social culture. Teaching children about the folk art of other cultures helps us to appreciate what people from around the world consider valuable and beautiful. It allows students to learn about new techniques and materials used in art, and displaying real examples encourages art appreciation in even the youngest students.
Mexican Amate PaintingToday we’ll look at a traditional Mexican folk art, painted on an organic medium called “amate.” Amate (pronounced “ah-MAH-tay”) is a type of paper produced from the fibers of the bark of fig trees.  Beginning in pre-Hispanic times, different indigenous groups used the amate to communicate with others. For example, the Aztecs used the amate paper to register data, or as a gift for soldiers.  In today’s Mexico, the Otomí people of Central Mexico produce this paper in a way similar to its historical origins.  However, now Nahua artisans paint intricate birds, colorful plants, and whimsical animals on the amate so that it can be used for decoration.

Examples of Amate Painting 

We also learned about the difference between stylized images and realistic images.  Stylized images show an artist's unique, creative way of drawing something, rather than an image that looks like photograph.   We looked at images of stylized birds and realistic birds.  Can you tell the difference?  

No comments:

Post a Comment