Tag Archives: folkart

Yarn paintings

Huichol yarn painting is a traditional artistic technique that is used for recording dreams, visions, myths, and the innermost personal prayers of the artists. Because the Huichol language is non-written, these story boards are used to express the beauty and wisdom of the ancient Huichol cultural tradition. Huichol artists can be thought of as modern day scribes.

The Huichols use smaller version of these paintings as offerings to the many gods and goddesses that reign over their isolated homeland in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico.

Yarn paintings originate from votive objects the Huichols create as ceremonial offerings. The small wax and yarn votive objects are made as prayers to depict the desires of the people and their families. After the ceremonies they are taken to far off sacred places and left for the gods and goddesses.

The larger paintings, made by Huichol artists for sale, utilize the same technique for placing strands of yarn onto a thin surface of beeswax mixed with pine resin that has been spread onto a wooden board. It is a meticulous and time consuming art form that may be a successor to the featherworking techniques of the Huichol ancestors, the Aztecs.

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Beaded masks

These beautiful, one-of-a-kind beaded masks where made by pressing tiny glass beads into natural beeswax spread over a paper-mache form. Bead art is made in limited quantities by the Huichol and Tepehuano Indians of southwestern Mexico. Click here for additional information on the Huichol people and how this art was made.

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African tribal influences?

When most people think about Mexico they never think about Africa, or natives of African descent. However there are areas in Mexico that have a large black population.

Black heritage in Mexico is not only isolated to Veracruz and Costa Chica. In the 1500 Spaniards brought Africans into Mexico because the Indians were dying. By the mid-1600, there were more than 15000 blacks and mulattos in Mexico. The races in Mexico mixed, thus making Mexico a nation of mestizos (mixed peoples).

 This work of art showing a Huichol indian playing a drum has something African about it, it almost looks like it has been influenced by African tribal art. A reliquary figure covered with beads and Huichol symbolism.

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“Holy cow!”

Two stunning decorated Huichol cow sculptures, standing in a gallery in Jalisco/ Guadalajara México.

 

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The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and the Traditional Arts

The Huichol Center:

Many miles away, in the desert region of San Luis Potosi, in an area that has been designated by UNESCO as a world biodiversity reserve, the aquifers and ecosystems are under siege by mining companies and agro business polluters who have illegally obtained land, water and mining rights. While the Huichols hold title to their lands in their mountain homeland, they do not have formal title to the sacred sites on these desert lands that they consider to be their primordial paradise.

 Their annual migration to this peyote habitat, “Wirikuta”, is the root of their cultural identity because it honors a sacred covenant between the Huichol people and their creators. The collection of sacred waters from the springs in this desert oasis and the harvesting of peyote for their ceremonies are a cornerstone of Huichol ceremonial life.

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