The Very Human Production Process Of Mopa-Mopa and Pasto Varnish

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In Colombia, there’s an indigenous process with a complex cycle of production that creates sheets of flexible resin derived from a small tree without harming the tree in the process. Because the complicated process is so laborious, it isn’t possible to mechanize it for mass production. Therefore, the people involved are integral to the process. The resin is called Mopa-Mopa and the process of applying it is called Barniz de Pasto (Pasto Varnish). It was produced by indigenous people long before Europeans came to the region. Like many indigenous processes, the harvesting of Mopa-Mopa and the ancestral knowledge of the Pasto varnish application process is under threat of being lost due to deforestation and agricultural encroachment. In this article from Rebekah Frank, learn about the Barniz de Pasto process with Tatiana Apráez, a jewelry artist who incorporates Mopa-Mopa in her contemporary jewelry work. She’s interested in not only the history and beauty of the process but is also invested in keeping the knowledge of the harvesters and skilled artisans from being lost and the subsequent breakdown of the production chain. Originally printed in Surface magazine,

Title: The Very Human Production Process Of Mopa-Mopa and Pasto Varnish
Author(s): Rebekah Frank
Topic: Barniz de Pasto, Pasto Varnish
Publication Year: 2020
Discipline: Barniz de Pasto (Pasto Varnish)
Relevant Country(s): Colombia
Material: Mopa-mopa

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