Since pre-Hispanic times, the Mayas have understood trees to be bridges between three worlds: the underworld, connected through the roots; the ground, home of the living and where the trunks are; and heaven, in the canopies.
Tzalam wood is also known as Mexican walnut. Its sapwood is a yellowish-cream color, different from its brown heartwood with copper or purple hues. It's used for kitchen utensils, such as plates, bowls and containers, as well as for interior decoration in items like flooring or doors due to its elegant coloration. Once worked with, its texture becomes fine and naturally shiny. Its bark is used to make dyes ranging from light brown with golden hues to dark, reddish-brown.
Our artisans come from families who have devoted much of their lives to tzalam woodworking. Wood is part of their identity, as the art of shaping and handling the material has been passed down for over four generations.
With the support of government agencies such as Mexico's National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), woodworkers buy the raw material at the Units for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife, which are spaces authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources with nurseries devoted to reforestation and soil erosion prevention.