Papier mâché was brought to Mexico by the French in during the reign of the Emperor Maximilian. While Abraham Lincoln was fighting the Civil War, Maximilian was introducing Mexico to everything French. A little town close to Mexico City was the cradle of all papier mâché – Celeya – and remains so today. They made papier mâché masks, toys & dolls for the poorer folks that couldn’t afford European imported goods. These popular, colorful folk art pieces spread into homes & festivals in all parts of Mexico, and their durability has made them last throughout the ages – even Diego Rivera had papier mâché filling his painting studio (and Frida Kahlo posed for a photo holding a big sugar skull from her hospital bed).