Juventino Díaz Celis, Xalitla, Tepecoacuilco de Trujano,

Juventino Díaz Celis' work has caught the attention of Fomento Cultural, publishers of "The Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art", "Great Masters of Latin America" and "Great Masters of Oaxacan Folk Art". His father, Grand Master Pedro Antonio Diaz, will appear in the 2nd edition of "Great Masters of Latin America". His creations are a symbol of his national identity, reflecting his creativity, culture and traditions inherited from his family. His father is well known for his art on amate paper made of bark with designs drawn with ink.

Both Juventino and his father are masters of painted amate (handmade paper made from the bark of the fig tree.) Juventino, however, has taken this amate art to a new level by using traditional designs for the iconography of objects that adorn Xalitlan such as jewelry boxes, frames, pottery and other ornamental objects. He is from Xalitla, municipality of Tepecoacuilco de Trujano, state of Guerrero.

Amate (from the Náhuatl word amatl) is a kind of paper that has been manufactured in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. It was widely produced and used for communication and ritual records during the Aztec Empire, however, after the Spanish conquest, its production was mostly banned and it was replaced by European paper. Amate paper production never completely died out, nor did the rituals associated with amate. It remained strongest in rugged mountainous areas difficult to access mainly in places north of Puebla and Veracruz but was adopted by the Nahua painters of Guerrero to create a "new" indigenous art.

Through this and other innovations, papel amate is one of the most widely available Mexican indigenous crafts sold both domestically and abroad. Attention is on the Nahua paintings on the paper, which is also called amate but Otomi paper makers have also received attention not only for the paper itself but for the crafts made with amate as Juventino creates.

Amate paper has a long history, not only because the raw materials for its manufacture have persisted, but also because the manufacture, its distribution and its uses have adapted to the needs and restrictions of time. Almost nothing is known about the manufacture of paper in pre-Hispanic times, however, tools for beating stones have been found dating back to the sixth century, where amate trees grow. Most are made of volcanic stone and some are made of marble and granite, they are usually rectangular or circular with grooves on one or both sides and are used to macerate the fibers. These beaters are still used by Otomí artisans, and almost all are of volcanic origin, with an additional groove added to one side to help hold the stone.

733 335 4344, 

Xalitla, Tepecoacuilco de Trujano, 

Guerrero, Nahua          

733-6763118 Cell. 552-336-9934