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Taller Leñateros Promotional Materials

Identifier: PICT-2019-004

Scope and Content

The collection consists of announcements, postcards and enveloped cards on handmade paper. The pieces bear woodblock prints, line drawings and text describing the Taller and promoting some of its publications and book launch events.


  • 1994-1998

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Taller Leñateros (The Woodlanders' Workshop) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, is a cooperative Maya artisan workshop that produces handmade paper, artist books, silkscreen and wood block prints, natural dyes and, by their own admission, magic spells. Founded in 1975 by the Mexican poet Ambar Past, Taller Leñateros is dedicated to promoting the continuation of ancient native traditions of dyeing and papermaking techniques, as well as preserving, supporting and disseminating Mayan and related popular culture and oral traditions.

Initially, the workshop focused on rescuing endangered traditions of natural dyes, passed down for centuries among the Maya, and almost completely replaced by synthetic aniline dyes. In 1980 one of the first publications of Taller Leñateros was Bon Tintes Naturales, an 80-page bilingual (Spanish/Tzotzil) instruction manual for creating natural dyes. Inexpensively offset-printed on newsprint, the book contained recipes, plant illustrations, poetry, charts and a fold-out map for locating supplies in San Cristóbal. This led to the creation of the Natural Dye School, a cooperative that has trained a new generation of teachers that led to the invention of many new dyes and spawned a resurgence of these traditions for ceremonial and commercial purposes. Other key publications include La Jícara (The Gourd ), a literary, artistic and historical journal in the form of a rustic codex that includes translations from Mayan languages, testimonies and journals; and Conjuros y Ebriedades: Cantos de Mujeres Mayas, a book of spells including recipes and incantations to live a long life and as well as hexes for the unfaithful man. (Description by the Latin American Library, Tulane University)

Several books and journal issues produced by the Taller Leñateros are held in the Center for Southwest Research as part of our collection of Mexican small press publications.


15 items (1 folder) : 15 printed pieces

Physical Location

B2. Small Collections box 11. Filed by Pictorial Number.
Finding Aid of the Taller Lenateros Promotional Materials, 1994-1998
Edited Full Draft
CSWR staff
© 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131