The tree of life, one of the main Mexican handicrafts, recognized nationally and internationally, has its first antecedents in the sixteenth century, when the first Franciscan missionaries arrived from Spain with the purpose of evangelizing the natives. To facilitate their task, they asked an artisan to make clay creations with the shape of a tree and two human figures: Adam and Eve who were accompanied by animals, fruits and flowers that symbolized paradise.
These trees used to have in the highest part an image of God and seven branches that represented the seven days that, according to the bible, it took to create the Earth, all this accompanied by other biblical passages. In parallel, the Metepec pottery was gaining prestige for its beauty and quality, and in the post-independence era, it went from being only utilitarian to becoming elaborate pieces of decoration. In the middle of the 20th century, artisans began to create sculptures of the tree of life.
Originally the main theme of the famous piece of pottery revolved around biblical themes, but today the trees can represent historical passages, popular legends, traditions, the life of a character and even literary works; they can be represented with clay figures that form flowers, fruits, animals, Mexican dishes, musical instruments and even skulls.