Mayan Huun Paper


Natural Paper for Use in Design, Decor and Art Projects

Huun artisan paper came about in response to Mark Callaghan’s quest to use only renewable and regional resources to create a strong, high-quality paper. This handcrafted paper came about through years of experimentation using a combination of the ancient Japanese Washi technique and the ancient Maya technique, resulting in an original creation that fuses traditional and contemporary elements. Mark’s vision in creating this paper was to revive the lost art of Mayan paper-making while protecting the environment by adapting traditional techniques to a renewable plant source. 

Though Amate Paper and Huun Paper have similar appearances, they are not the same. The key distinguishing feature lies in the fiber content, or in other words, the plants from which the papers are made. Amate paper is made from the bark of the Amate tree and is predominantly produced in central México by indigenous Otomi artisans. Huun paper, however, is created from the “lengua de vaca” plant (also known as the Sansevieria plant) by Mayan artisans throughout the Yucatán Peninsula of México. Huun is the Mayan word for paper whereas Amate is the Nahuatl word for tree. 

Huun paper is made from plant fiber pulp, it is more flexible than similar papers made from tree bark. At 150 grams per square meter, this heavyweight Mexican paper is both flexible and durable, making it ideal for a variety of heavy-duty art and decor projects. Each sheet of Huun paper is individually made by local artisans with a unique final appearance and deckled edges. The dual texture is created as one side is pressed with a metal plate for a smooth finish while the reverse side is hand-textured using specially-carved stones called “bark beaters” that leave distinct impressions and texture. 

Huun paper is relatively new in the paper world, but its production strives to preserve the indigenous art of papermaking and contributes to sustainable local communities by educating and employing Mayan artisans in the Yucatán Peninsula.