Art in Mexico has always been deeply intertwined with religious belief. When the Aztecs controlled Mexico, artisans held high places in society, and the immense variety of their artesenia (Mexican Spanish for folk crafts) was admired by those who visited.
When the Spaniards conquered Mexico, artists and their pagan wares were persecuted. Over the next few centuries, Mexican folk art was Catholicized as much as it was subdued. It wasn't until the 1920s that the folk art culture in Mexico began to flourish at the scale it once had, unrecognizable though it was through the introduction of western religious practices and artistic techniques.