Popular arts and crafts are still an essential part of life in modern Mexico. Contemporary makers create jewellery of silver and gold, complex pottery, shimmering beadwork, ingenious toys and imaginative figures of papier mâché.
Few countries in the world offer such a rich and varied cultural heritage as Mexico. Before the Spanish Conquest, numerous civilisations rose and fell. After 1521, Spanish settlers brought new art forms, materials, and craft skills. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1821. After the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and their contemporaries rejected European values in favour of mexicanidad, and promoted indigenous forms of expression.
Today the arts and crafts of Mexico remain an essential part of life. They are a living force, not a nostalgic evocation of a vanished past. The Mexican sense of colour and design is dazzling. Popular art forms combine Aztec, Maya and Spanish traditions. Contemporary makers create jewellery of silver and gold, complex pottery, intricate wooden carvings, shimmering beadwork, ingenious toys and imaginative figures of papier mâché.