The Persian art of papier maché was brought to the Himalayan region of northern India centuries ago. Artisans first soak used newspaper for several days until the paper disintegrates, then mixes it with cloth, rice, or straw to form a pulp. The mixture is molded, dried and cut into shape. Artisans coat the surface with glue paste, rub it smooth with baked clay, and paste layers of tissue papers. The base color and motifs are all created freehand with non-toxic paints, then burnished and coated with lacquer.