Along with stone, clay and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Woodworking in Mexico encompasses a wide range of traditions, techniques and materials.
Some wood crafts still practised today can be traced back to prehispanic times such as the Icpalli, a type of highly sophisticated chair made by the Wixáritari and other indigenous people.
Another major tradition is cooking utensils, including the iconic chocolate whisks (molinillos) made with either manual or more recently, mechanical wood lathe.
In Tepoztlán, softer woods such as Pochote are beautifully carved to make miniature sculptures.
The molinillo, as it is known in Mexico, is a staple kitchen utensil used to make chocolate, a highly praised and popular beverage.
The origin of this tool can be traced back to the indigenous people of ancient Mexico, who first domesticated cacao.
Also known as ceiba (Ceiba aesculifolia), Pochote tree is sacred by the Maya people. Its big prickles are used to make miniature sculptures carved by hand with simple tools.
This is a type of prehispanic indigenous chair made with various woods, fibres and leather. The traditional Tlicpalli, which roughly translates from Nahuatl to “seat of the gods” is associated with power, ritual and religious beliefs.
From a design standpoint, it is an incredible piece of technology, combining local knowledge of a variety of plant species, dexterity and functionality.