Barniz de Pasto: Colombian indigenous lacquer technique

The Anglo-Colombian Society proudly invites you to the talk about the Barniz de Pasto, the Colombian indigenous lacquer technique with Maestro Eduardo Muñoz Lorathe foremost authority in this field. 

When: Friday 21st April 2023 at 6:00 pm.

Venue: The Swedenborg Society, located at 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH.


  • 6:00p m – Doors open
  • 6:30 pm – Talk and demonstration starts
  • 7:15 pm – Q & A session
  • 7:30pm -8:30 pm – Networking reception.

This is a free event.



About the event

This talk is subsequent to the successful Victoria & Albert Museum’s Conference ‘Lacquers of the Americas’ where Maestro Muñoz Lora has been invited to do a demonstration of this ancestral lacquering technique.

A rare opportunity to hear the history and see a practical demonstration of barniz de Pasto, the pictorial lacquer process of this pre-Hispanic cultural expression, unique in the world . It uses the resin of the Mopa-Mopa tree as a raw material that only grows in the virgin tropical rain forests of Putumayo (Southwest of Colombia).

This technique, used for the decoration of wooden objects with coloured thin sheets of processed mopa-mopa resin, has been recognised by the UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2020.

About the speaker

Maestro Eduardo Muñoz Lora ( Pasto, 1945) has dedicated his professional life of more than 50 years to the rescue and research of new methods of implementing the use and layering of the barniz de Pasto.

He developed his craft with lacquer on three-dimensional shapes, using transparencies. This was a fundamental step in the use of Mopa-Mopa, demonstrating that it was possible to use in the decoration of three-dimensional artefacts.

Mr. Muñoz Lora is passionate about the ancestral culture of the American peoples of southwestern Colombia, namely the Quillacinga and Pasto, which, until then, had not been represented with the varnish technique. The Maestro began his research on indigenous peoples: their cosmovision, rituals, myths, legends, festivals, and trades, seeking to rescue their contribution to national and world culture.

He has received numerous recognitions for this commitment, among which are the recognition of Excellence of UNESCO and the medal of the Order of Master Craftsmen awarded by ‘Artesanías de Colombia.

As a result, this helped expand demand for this new variety of product in the market, thus broadening the work of the guild of artisans of the barniz de Pasto.

Mr. Muñoz Lora was co-founder of the Escuela de Artes Populares de Nariño, which sought to promote the popular manifestations of this southwestern region of Colombia. He was also one of the founders of the cooperative of the Mopa-Mopa artisan lacquerers, in which the aim was to guarantee market opportunities for the master craftsmen of the barniz de Pasto.