The legenaria bulgaris, the Peruvian dried squash gourd, is the basis of the pure art of the mate burilado. The oldest carved gourds date back 3 500 years and were found at the pre-Hispanic temple of Huaca Prieta in the northern coastal valley of Chicama in the department of La Libertad..
Recently, the technique has taken off in the Ayacucho region of Huanta, which has given rise to the mates huantas. These works of art are known for the vitality of their thick but sure lines, which the artisans employ to portray scenes from everyday farming life.
Another variation involves miniature drawings, which can often only be seen with a magnifying glass. The technique consists of etching fine lines into the gourd with a scalpel, in a comic book style to represent scenes from farming life.
Today, the area of the central Mantaro Valley and specifically the districts of Cochas Chico and Cochas Grande are the areas where most mates burilados are made.