Playing Cards from Guatemala
After arriving in what was named the New World, the Spanish sent expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic that devastated native populations. During the colonial period, Guatemala was an Audiencia and a Captaincy General (Capitanía General de Guatemala) of Spain, and a part of New Spain (Mexico). The region was not as rich in minerals (gold and silver) as Mexico and Peru, but its main products were sugarcane, cocoa, blue añil dye, red dye from cochineal insects, and precious woods used in artwork for churches and palaces in Spain. In 1583 one Alonso Martínez de Orteguilla was authorised to administer the manufacture and sale of playing cards in New Mexico (which included Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras). Playing cards were supplied from Spain and France, as well as manufactured in Mexico under licence.
In recent years packs have been published in Guatemala by El Cuervo y Cia, Promotora Continental and Juegos El Borrego.
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
“Allfours Carnival Playing Cards” designed by Gabby Woodham, Trinidad, 1995
Spanish playing cards with Pre-Columbian designs from Argentina, 2001.
Apache rawhide playing cards by ‘Tonto Naipero’, c.1871.
Ojibwa Native Indian playing cards hand manufactured on birch bark in imitation of standard French / English cards, c.1875.
Apache Indian Playing Cards made on rawhide, first recorded 1875.
“Maya” playing cards designed by Russian artist V. M. Sveshnikov and first published by The Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, in 1975.
Spanish-suited playing cards made on rawhide and said to have been used by Chilean Mapuche Indians, XVI-XVII century
The designs of Mayan artists shown here give a general idea of their enormous artistic and cultural potential.
Mexican Poker cards made by Juegos y Fichas, S.A. de C.V., Mexico, 1991
Naipes Nacionales designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico c.1940.
Playing Cards from Guatemala
Mayan Playing Cards from Guatemala / Baraja Maya / containing illustrations of archaeology, art, folklore, history and mythology of the Mayans.
Inka Culture playing cards, Peru, c.2000, promoting alpaca and cotton.
“Calendario Inka” playing cards published by Power Casinos, Lima, Peru, c.2004.
Baraja Cuauhtémoc published by Treviño Narro, Monterrey, Mexico Original artwork by P. X. Santaella featuring Aztec and other important pre-Columbian cultures.
Native Indian hand-made cards made on rawhide
Naipe El Ferrocarril made by La Cubana, S.A. (Fabrica de Naipes El Aguila), Mexico, c.1960
MEXICO shares a long tradition with Spain in the field of playing cards. The Estanco de Naipes (playing-card monopoly) was established in 1576.
Playing cards had been introduced to the Americas with explorers such as Columbus or Cortés, whose fellow countrymen were keen gamblers. Cards were imported from Spain since the 16th century. Local production usually imitated Spanish cards.
Pre-Incas & Incas Souvenir Playing Cards, Cusco, Peru, 2000.
'Inka-Dynasty' playing cards are based on historic 16th century designs by the Peruvian chronicler Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala, and printed by Power Casinos, Lima, Peru, c.2004.
Tacuabé was a Charrúa native from Uruguay, an indigenous tribe that became extinct following European conquest and colonisation.