Through the "Ciclo Vital" plastic exhibition, the preservation of amate is achieved as a support to the Ñha-Ñhu (Otomí) culture. This exhibition brings together the exhibition of three codices and the drawing work made on said paper, in order to publicize the culture to Mexico to the world.
Currently, the paper of amatl is made by the Ñha-ñhu (Otomí) culture, settled on the slopes of Cerro Brujo, in the town of San Pablito, municipality of of San Pablito, municipality of Pahuatlan, State of Puebla, Mexico. It is produced by men, women, girls, and boys who with their hands intertwine the fiber, which they extract from the bark of other trees since the amatl is in a danger of extinction. Nowadays they continue to preserve their spiritual and curative traditions of pre-Hispanic origin, while they to obtain economic benefits through the handicrafts that their gods allow them to make.
The book-object "Palabras Dibujadas" is published, Madrid 1982. This is poetic philosophy illustrated with drawings of anthropomorphic trees. Pedro Zubizarreta will travel to Mexico in 1983 to meet these trees. There he will discover the magic paper of Amate that is done from this sacred tree. As an outcome of this finding will be the Series "Ciclo Vital I" (Vital Cycle I), an amalgamation of his drawings.
The Amatl paper has allowed Pedro to see and feel the pleasure of its sacred texture, millenary, sensual and with an attractive personality that has given him the possibility to introduce thorugh graphite, the human spirit for its conservation and his thoughts to continue the story.
The "Vital Cycle" exhibition aims to collaborate in keeping alive the culture of a people that has of a people that have preserved it for centuries. In pre-Columbian times, glyphs were written in codices. The present and modernity has opened its frontiers to make it go through different and plural paths.
"Ciclo Vital" shows one of those paths, with the union of two cultures, and two schools of art: the classical Spanish one of Greek models and the pre-Hispanic, Colonial and pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern, between both the syncretic crossbreeding of the work is produced as a conclusion.
AMATE, MUCH MORE THAN PAPER
Throughout history, paper has been of fundamental importance to almost all cultures as it has been the only means, in addition to oral expression, to disseminate knowledge. The first place where paper was made was in China in 105 B.C., where it spread to Damascus and from there to Europe.
Damascus and from there to Europe. In China, the bark of the mulberry tree was used, while in Europe, mainly cotton cloth was used. In ancient Mesoamerica, paper was made with the bark of the amatl or amate tree and other hot earth plants. Its production was
was extremely important for the cultures of the continent, above all for the elaboration of codices, in which codices, in which history was recorded and the knowledge that was to be preserved and disseminated was as well as for ornaments and ceremonial clothing.