Vintage Handcrafted Wooden Box Pasto/Pasture Varnish "Mopa Mopa" Technique Columbia Art Object Handicraft OOAK Casa Del Barniz De Pasto


Regular price $57.00

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Pasto varnish or mopa mopa is an artisan technique that consists of decorating wooden objects with the resin obtained from the leaf of a wild shrub called mopa mopa, which grows in the Putumayo jungle and is harvested twice a year. The manual process is key, in which the resin is cooked, cleaned, passed through a mill, handled with hot water and dyed with vegetable and mineral anilines.

This piece came from Casa Del Barniz De Pasto, which translates as the Grass Varnish House, located in Pasto Narino, Columbia. It measures about 3/4 in tall x 6 in wide, it is footed and has original artisan sticker and signed on bottom. Each side features a different scene from the village (5 scenes). To obtain an original pasto Varnish piece on other websites, they can retail over $100. There is a small chip on bottom on lid which cannot be seen unless you lift the lid to see it (the piece of wood that chipped is in the box so it could be reglued). Does not affect use or beauty.

Pasto Varnish, a decorative technique developed by one of the indigenous communities of Nariño, in southern Colombia, is one of the few existing crafts in Colombia that has aboriginal origins. The technique has been maintained since it was known by the Spanish conquistadors who were delighted with the work of the Indians, as recorded by the Fray de Santa Gertrudis, on his trip from 1756 to 1767, in the book Nature Wonders:

Tradition Pasto varnish craft has pre-Hispanic origins and a long history that has developed through colonial times, the republican era and today.

Materials: Wood.