•  Back to Table of Contents   Back to Table of Contents 

    (3) What is papel picado?

    Codex Mendoza Papel picado is paper with pieces cut out that then form designs.  Literally, papel picado means pecked paper. In the U.S., papel picado is often an overlooked decoration.  In the Mission district of San Francisco, examples of papel picado can be found in corner stores. In fact, examples of papel picado can be found all over the southwestern United States (http://markmilliorn.blogspot.com/2016/02/papel-picado.html).

    Papel picado is related to Aztec pictographs and a form of paper called amatl (now called amate). The image at right is a page from the Codex Mendoza. The center image is on today's Mexican flag. (Tuerenhout, 2005)







    Catalina Delgado describes the history of Papel Picado: