APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Matera and its Hill (MT) - Papier Maché Handcraft


The tradition of papier maché makers is ancient and connected to religious cults. Patron Saints' festivals are often connected to the presence of a triumphal cart usually made of this material.

The highest expression is certainly the triumphal cart of the festival of the ‘Madonna della Bruna’, which is made with great skill by the town papier maché makers every year and is destroyed in few minutes in the traditional assault.

Papier maché is made through several stages. After the creation of the plaster mould, several layers of absorbent paper are alternated with newspaper sheets soaked in special glue.

They are left to dry and then the two parts of the statue are joined. At this point, it is possible to give the finishing touches and to paint it.

Nowadays papier maché is used to make typical popular Christmas cribs and small artistic handicrafts.