Elena Bautista Pérez, Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas

Elena Bautista Pérez, Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas

Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas, is a Tzeltal (Mayan) speaking community located on the Panamerican Highway near San Cristobal de Las Casas. Amatenango, known as "The Pottery Capital of Chiapas", where local craftswomen exhibit and sell their work under covered arches or from their homes or workshops in the village. The knowledge necessary to produce Amatenango's unique pottery has historically been passed down from mother to daughter for generations.

Doña Bonifacia Pérez López learned the art from her mother as a child. She married Alberto Bautista Gómez, a talented man. Don Alberto began making jaguar figures and used jaguars to decorate the traditional water jars of Amatenango. Ceramics up to this point had been the domain of the women, and the men who worked in the fields helped paint the pieces, but Don Alberto broke the mold and began working with clay, as well as painting the figures. He was very talented and his work was incredible. His work is recognised in the book Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular published by Fomento Cultural Banamex.  His wife, Doña Bonifacia, worked with him and also taught his son, Ramón, and his daughters, Elena and Luisa, as well.

Doña Bonifacia's son, Ramón, painted the first black jaguar with acrylic paint. He also showed the same talent as his father, but sadly passed away when he was still young. His widow, Teresa, continues his style of work.

Elena inherited her parents' talent and does wonderfully unique work. She is one of the best sculptors in Amatenango, but stays quietly at home with her mother working mainly for collectors. Luisa, her younger sister, lives in the same house and helps with the production and is generally dedicated to painting.

The Fair is proud to have Elena and her mother at the Fair, it is special because they do not normally travel to sell. They will show their best known works, such as monkeys, horses, iguanas, wild boars, baskets with birds and, of course, the famous pots and jaguars that are still made in the style of Alberto Bautista. His work depends on the taste of his clients, the pieces are left in their natural color or painted with natural pigments or acrylic paints. Elena and her mother have been awarded prizes in the state competition Fray Bartolomé and their work appears in the collections of many collectors.

Avenida de las Casas S/N

Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas

967 101 7654 Whatsapp