Mural: The Maguey, Agave, and Sisal Plants, Palacio Nacional de Mexico

Diego Rivera

The next to the last panel

This narrow double panel depicts in the upper left men scraping the maguey/agave for its sap which is fermented to become pulque. On the right amatl bark is stripped from the tree (a Mexican fig tree). After being soaked in the river, it is beaten so that it becomes flat and can become a sheet of paper.

Tinted grisaille showing a codex made from amate bark paper

The codex illustrates the arrival of the Spanish and the ensuing conflict. The scribe on the far left is applying paint to this historical account.

Continue to page 12: The Arrival of Cortés.

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© 2010 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.