The Books and the Paper
Handmade by Mayan Women of Chiapas, Mexico
Over wood fires in the patio at Taller Lenateros in San Cristobal de las Casas big kettles boil, full of corn-husks, gladiola stems, heart of maguey, palm leaves, recycled women's cotton huipil blouses, banana trunks, and who knows what other raw material, to make paper. There are baskets full of papyrus, liana vines, lichen and moss. Mayan women beat the fibers in a mill which spins by bicycle power. They spread the paper out in the Sun, and while it dries, print poems on oak leaves and pansy petals.